Health Insurance in India

Details of the place of insurance in the Indian health system, plus information on hospital bills and medical tourism…

There is no universal health care system in India. Consultations and medical procedures are paid for in cash. Health insurance is available for hospitalisation and emergency medical costs only. Though it is not obligatory, it is highly recommended to take a private health insurance policy. There are many private companies and banks offering health insurance packages covering hospitalisation. Non-conventional treatments (like Ayurveda – a traditional Indian medical system) are not covered by these policies. Persons over 45 years of age may require a medical check-up to qualify. The documents required include:

  • Proof of identity (passport copy)
  • Proof of address (copy of telephone or electricity bill)
  • Copy of valid visa

Many employers offer health insurance coverage to their employees as part of their salary package. Family members are also usually covered under the same policy.

Hospital Bills/Payments

In the event of hospitalisation, an advanced payment may be requested. Usually hospitalisation expenses are reimbursed after payment, but some insurance companies offer a “cashless service” where a Health ID Card issued by the insurance company needs to be presented instead of payment.

It is unlikely that anyone with health insurance would go to a government hospital.

Medical Tourism

India is one of the biggest worldwide destinations for medical tourism. The high quality of care and low cost attracts many tourists requiring heart, orthopaedic and cosmetic surgery, dental procedures and infertility treatments.

Traditional Ayurvedic treatments and therapies based on the Indian natural healing system of Ayurveda are also very popular with medical tourists.