The Union Budget 2016 focused more on improving the healthcare and education of people. Senior citizens underwent a lot of trouble in the recent years as the health insurance cost were skyrocketing and so were the premiums. The current budget focused more on Senior citizens and their health and crafted a budget accordingly. The health insurance plans were affected in the following ways –
- Duty waiver for necessary dialysis equipment and National Dialysis Service Program
Patients with renal diseases can now breathe a sigh of relief. The Union budget 2016 proposed dialysis services to all district hospitals, initiating the ‘National Dialysis Service Program’. As every year, there are over 2 lakh patients that are admitted with last-stage renal disease and the existing 4,950 centers are unable to meet this demand, distributing dialysis equipment in most of the district hospitals will help deal with this number. Patients suffering from stage 3 of chronic kidney diseases need dialysis twice-thrice in a week and many patients can’t avail the equipment as it’s not nearby. Also, poor families have to spend a lot on travelling to a center with the machine, travelling costs plus dialysis costs becomes an expensive affair. On an average,Dialysis costs Rs. 3 lakhs annually for a patient. In order to curb prices, Finance Minister proposed to exempt certain parts of dialysis equipment from basic customs duty, special additional duty and excise duties.
- Health care benefits for Low-income groups and Senior citizens
The Government has also launched a new health insurance scheme of up to Rs. 1 lakh aimed at every household, this was done focusing more on families of lower income groups. This is apart from the Rs. 30,000 of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana for select treatments and diseases. In addition, senior citizens will get Rs. 30,000 additionally as health cover. As senior citizens have to pay more for health insurance and the premium too costs more because of the risk factor, the additional top-up will help reduce the burden of health costs for the aged.
Overall, the Union Budget of 2016 proposed improved health insurance policy to the lower income groups and senior citizens. Though several people are still not satisfied with the budget of 2016, for health insurance and education sectors it’s a welcome change.
About HDFC Health:
HDFC Health is an initiative by HDFC Life, a life insurance company in India to help increase awareness, spread knowledge and enshroud myths surrounding the health insurance sector in India. As a wholly owned subsidiary of HDFC Life, HDFC Health offers health insurance policies in India that cover individual, family floater, critical illness and cancer care insurance plans.