Dr. Avnish Jolly, Chandigarh, 9th October, 2008: According to the survey released earlier this week, on an average, families in Punjab spend 44.9% of their income on health problems, the families in Haryana spend 40.9% of their income on health problems and the families in Chandigarh spend 59.4 % of their respective annual household incomes.
The survey, conducted by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) 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". Mr. V. M. Chug, Insurance Consultant said that the facts of the study would be an eye opener and make the health insurance of utmost important for every Indian.
According to the survey report the survey covered 2000 villages and 342 towns across 23 states. Punjab stands ninth in ranking with a health index of 0.655 and Haryana stands nineteenth, with a health index of 0.473. Total health insurance penetration in India is only 1.2 percent, whereas in the US it is 84 percent of the total population.
Chug said that spending on health in Haryana and Punjab is substantial and it is causing a dent on household incomes in the two states and with the growing incidence of diseases due to changing lifestyle, health insurance is recognized as one of the primary protection needs for all the family members. It should be an essential aspect of financial planning of every household, he added.