ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Private Health Insurance and Health Costs

The IRDA Bill and the consequent opening up of the health insurance sector to foreign and private investors' raises several questions. Are Indians ready for private health insurance? Will there be demand from all sections of society? What would consumers look for when they 'purchase' insurance to cover future health risks, a concept hitherto non-existent in India? These are some of the questions this paper attempts to answer, based on data collected in Delhi from about 500 households. The study found a wide disparity across sections on willingness to participate. The challenges for the new system would be to pool individuals across risk and economic status categories; set up a multi-tier system to meet objectives of equity and efficiency in health care delivery and for planners and regulators, to keep health insurance separate from other non-health insurance.

Assessing Private Health Insurance in India

The entry of private health insurance companies in India is likely to have an impact on the costs of health care, equity in the financing of care, and the quality and cost-effectiveness of such care. However, an informed consumer and well-defined and implemented insurance regulation regime will ameliorate some of the bad outcomes. Regulation relating to benefitpackages, restrictions on risk selection and consumer protection would be clearly useful; also required are improved enforcement of regulatory regimes, creating large insurance buyer groups, and better coordination between IRDA and other regulatory bodies. New legislation in improving standards in health care provision may also be needed.

Bank Supervisory Arrangements

The purpose of this paper is to examine the choice of location of prudential supervision of banks. Should central banks assume this role or should there be a unified regulator covering all financial institutions? With the growing concern among central banks about the need to maintain financial stability, can such problems be effectively tackled if regulation/ supervision is vested with the central banks? The evidence.
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