India has about 30 crore poor people who live below poverty line and with the National Healthcare Protection Program in place, the government has taken a great step in making quality healthcare accessible to the common man. With this universal healthcare scheme in place, the citizens of India will have easy access to standard treatment.
With this budget, the government has brought in some of the much-needed tax reforms that will benefit the users and will, in turn, result in improving the insurance penetration. The increase in deductions under 80D of The Income Tax act for senior citizens from Rs. 30,000 to 50,000 is a welcome gesture. It would have been helpful if the limit had been increased for the individuals below 60 as well. It will help the financially weak who are worst hit at times of emergencies.
But the budget didn’t bring any relief on the GST for health insurance which was another much-needed change as the current rate is very high resulting in health insurance being more expensive.
For the insurance sector, the merging of United, National Assurance Company and Oriental India into a single entity is a very interesting development. The merger of PSU insurers is a positive step for the overall growth of the Industry with better efficiency. Consolidation will be beneficial reducing unhealthy competition and will also contribute to GDP growth of the country.