Stakeholders discuss ways to widen Ayush insurance coverage

To make Ayush treatments more accessible, stakeholders gathered to discuss the regulatory framework and policy support needed to include Ayush treatments in health insurance schemes at the sensitization program organised by the Ministry of Ayush for Insurance Companies and Ayush Hospital Owners at the All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) on Monday. 

The meeting was organised after the  Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDAI) directed to bring Ayush treatments under health insurance coverage effective from April 01, 2024. This necessitated the need for deeper understanding between Ayush hospitals, healthcare providers and the insurance sector stakeholders. 

“The aim is to ensure easy access to Ayush treatments for everyone. This focus on accessibility is coupled with remarkable growth in the sector, with the manufacturing of Ayush products increasing eightfold in the last decade,” said Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of Ayush.

“We're making significant strides in integrating Ayush treatments into the mainstream healthcare system. The focus is to enable cashless access to Ayush services through the TPA network. Today's meeting brings us closer to realizing our vision of making Ayush treatments accessible and affordable for all”. Said Prof. Tanuja Nesari, Director, of All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA).

Many stakeholders gave their perspectives from both the insurance sector and Ayush Hospitals during the meeting. A variety of topics including insurance coverage in the Ayush sector and onboarding of Ayush hospitals on the ROHINI (Registry of Hospitals in Network of Insurance) platform were discussed during the meeting.  

The current insurance services are largely focused on surgical and emergency services though two-thirds of the premium payers are people dealing with long-term diseases. Hence there is an urgent need to promote the empanelment of Ayush healthcare organisations and to increase Ayush representation on key committees in the insurance sector. 

Dr. Kousthubha Upadhyaya, adviser of the Ministry of Ayush said that the ministry had constituted a core group of experts in October 2023 to conduct a study of the current status of Ayush systems under health insurance and to create a white paper. “The Ministry of Ayush and National Health Authority are working towards inclusion of Ayush interventions into Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY),” he added. 

Other key speakers in the program included Dr. Alka Kapoor, DMS, AIIA; Yogananda Tadepalli, CTO, IIBI; Segar Sampathkumar, General Insurance Council (GIC); Amit Jain, Chief operating officer, Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Ltd.; Shri Ram Natesan, Sr. Vice President, Network & Provider Management, Star Health Insurance; Dr. Sunil Gala, Head of claims magma, HDL; and Rohit Gupta, Head of group health business, SBI General Insurance

The event is seen as a significant step towards integrating traditional medicine into mainstream healthcare, ensuring broader insurance coverage for Ayush treatments, and promoting overall health and well-being.

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