Punjab, Haryana people spend more on health, less on insurance

October 7th, 2008 - 9:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Oct 7 (IANS) People in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh set aside a huge part of their annual income for health expenses, but spend very little on health insurance, according to a survey released Tuesday.The survey, jointly carried out by economic research institute National Council of Applied Economic Research and Max New York Life Insurance, found that “in Punjab, for an average household income of Rs.77,325, the annual health expenses are Rs.34,729, which is 44.9 percent of the income”.

“Similarly, in Haryana and Chandigarh, the annual expenses on health care are 40.9 percent and 59.4 percent of their respective annual household incomes,” Rajender Sud, director and head of agency distribution, Max New York Life Insurance, said here.

The survey covered 342 towns and 2,000 villages across 23 states.

The total health insurance penetration in India is only 1.2 percent, whereas in the US it is 84 percent of the total population, the report said.

Chandigarh ranks third among the 23 states participated in the survey.

Punjab and Haryana stood at ninth and 19th places respectively in the health insurance penetration rankings.

“With the growing incidence of diseases due to changing lifestyle, health insurance is recognised as one of the primary protection needs for all the family members. It should be an essential aspect of financial planning of every household,” Sud said.

“According to the World Health organisation findings, in India, seven in every 100 will have diabetes problem and 21 in every 100 will have blood pressure problems by 2025. By 2010, 60 percent of the world’s cardiac patients will be Indians. Such facts make the health insurance of utmost important for every Indian,” he added.

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