“NEW DELHI: In a dramatic reversal of the trend that existed just three years ago, big corporate hospitals today charge health insurance card holders much less than those paying in cash for the same procedures. Those paying out of their pockets are now billed anywhere between 25% and 60% more than those with cashless health insurance schemes. …
“It appears that the Indian private healthcare system is moving closer to mirroring the situation in the US, where insurance firms are the prime factors in holding down healthcare costs and those without insurance can face crippling charges…. However, 80-85 % of the population is without any insurance cover and they are now feeling the pinch, more so in the absence of a health regulator….
“The package for a heart surgery at Sir Ganga Ram, Max, Fortis, Apollo hospitals in Delhi, Medanta in Gurgaon if you are holding an insurance policy — and other corporate hospitals across the country in the same category – is about Rs 2.25 lakh. … For the same treatment, if you are making out-of-pocket payment, it will cost you an average of Rs 3.63 lakh … a comparative study by TOI has found.” — Pradeep Thakur, Don’t have health cover? Pay up to 60% more – Times Of India, Sept. 25, 2013.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.