Making health insurance accessible and affordable with monthly premiums

Are you someone who is looking to choose the right health insurance plan but is hesitant about the premium prices? Well, you’re not alone! Finding the right health insurance plan can be overwhelming as navigating costs can be quite tricky.

No wonder, only one out of three individuals in India have health insurance coverage, including both government and private health insurance schemes. But what if you were to discover that paying for health insurance premiums can now be as simple as your monthly OTT or grocery subscriptions?

Health insurance, an expense or an investment?

Health insurance in India has always been viewed as an upfront financial burden rather than a safety net to protect one’s financial interests. While the average per capita income in India is around Rs 16,000 per month, health insurance plan premiums, when payable annually, amount to nearly 30 per cent (assuming Rs 5,000 as premium) of a month’s salary which makes it difficult to pay in one go.

A Public Health Foundation of India report also paints a stark picture, estimating that a staggering 55 million Indians are pushed back into poverty every year due to such costs. This scenario showcases the growing urgency for a safety net and for users to understand that health insurance is no longer a luxury but a vital tool to safeguard their financial future.

Monthly premium plans are light on the pocket and help users meet their wellness needs

After recognising this need to increase accessibility and affordability for insurance products across income segments, PhonePe launched a first-of-its-kind, monthly subscription for insurance premium payments with flexible payment options starting from Rs 500 to Rs 3,000 per month.

This feature makes health insurance as easy as paying for one’s recurring monthly household bills rather than getting into the burden of yearly lump sum payments. It is also easy on your pocket, convenient to pay, and truly resonates with our core ideology of — Insurance Your Way!

Monthly premium payment plans can help in expanding the options available to users in the health insurance category, especially the modern Indian consumer.

This innovation was driven by our deep understanding of the end consumers and the fact that smaller monthly payments help ease the financial burden for them while empowering and enabling them to opt for extensive insurance coverage, without having to stretch their finances.

The transparency in selecting the appropriate coverage is reflected in the ATS (Average Transaction Size) with a growing number of users opting for comprehensive protection.

In fact, since this launch, PhonePe has seen many customers (particularly those purchasing health insurance for the first time) opt for monthly payment options, especially from tier 2 cities and beyond. Further, they are also opting for higher coverage and more features because the monthly component makes plans more affordable.

Currently, while other monthly payment options are available to customers, it is only feasible through loans or credit cards. However, the challenge with this is that it’s only limited to those with a decent credit history and/or access to credit cards.

At PhonePe, our monthly payments offering provides better accessibility to health insurance as it does not require additional financial obligations or credit checks, ensuring widespread inclusivity and cost-effectiveness.

This further goes to show that budget-friendly & customised health insurance can not only eliminate disparities but also empower everyone to have equitable access to healthcare services, regardless of their income and demographic status.

In conclusion, it is about time that substantial changes are made across the industry in order to make insurance truly accessible to all. This would essentially be in line with the IRDAI’s vision of ‘Insurance for all by 2047’.

Hence, the need of the hour is to remove any barriers that may cause reluctance amongst users to opt for insurance protection or make health coverage a hard sell for them.

An innovative approach coupled with tailor-made offerings and customer-friendly solutions will help bridge the insurance gap in India and thus lead to disruption in the digital insurance sector.

We believe that differentiated features like the monthly subscription model blended with PhonePe’s distribution, user reliability, customer-centric approach and simple DIY journeys will help fortify insurance adoption and penetration in the country.

(Nilesh Agarwal is Head of Business, PhonePe Insurance Broking Services)

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