Despite India's universal health care system, many Indians remain without adequate medical coverage. Despite attempts to use health insurance to increase accessibility, most Indians lack insurance. International students should expect to purchase private health insurance.
Although India has a universal health care system, lack of coverage and infrastructure in the public sector means that many Indians turn to the private sector for healthcare needs. The higher costs of the private sector, however, are out of reach of many Indians, generating demand for private health insurance in India. Those who can afford to purchase private insurance to help pay for the costs of private health care.
Employers, particularly large private companies and the government, are major providers of health insurance in India. General health insurance in India is also available, but is too expensive for most people. Consequently, over 90% of the population lacks any sort of health insurance. The government-operated General Insurance Company and its subsidiaries are the main providers of medical insurance in India.
Because of widespread lack of health insurance, a number of plans, both private and public, have been developed to try to put affordable medical care within the reach of ordinary Indians. The “Jan Arogya Yojana” insurance plan is the primary plan designed to be accessible to low-income Indians. Costing $122 per year, it covers up to 60 days of hospitalization. The plan, however, only reimburses patients after they have paid out of pocket, limiting its accessibility to the poor.
Another plan designed to increase the access that the poor have to medical insurance in India is the Yashaswini insurance plan, offered by the state of Karnataka. This plan has premiums as low as $1.50 and covers major surgeries. Because private doctors often require payment up front, even minor medical procedures can push those without health insurance in India into poverty.
While the Indian government does not require health insurance to secure a student or tourist visa, purchasing private health insurance in India is strongly recommended. Travelers in India face a number of potential health risks, from tropical diseases to dangerous roads, and doctors often expect cash payment for services rendered. International students should expect to purchase private health insurance in India. The US State Department recommends getting insurance that includes medical evacuation coverage.
We offer three international insurance plans for both students or travelers who will be studying or visiting India. All offer comprehensive coverage at hospitals, doctors and providers throughout India and can be purchased online with instant confirmation. Each of these plans includes the recommended emergency evacuation coverage.
The right international student insurance plan for you is dictated by how long you will be studying in India, as well as your personal situation and choices. As you review your options for medical insurance in India, it’s important to find a plan that will cover you for the full duration of your time there.
To assist students who will be studying in India, our core insurance plans are listed below. If you need any help or assistance in deciding what plan is right for you, please do not hesitate to contact us and will be happy to assist you.