and quickly. This would surely make health insurance more affordable for the people of India.
Fourthly, health insurance awareness is one of the key problems in increasing penetration across the country. The government may wish to build a budget for marketing programmes, which would enhance the need for Indians to get covered under health plans. This initiative found immense favour last year with Irda and the insurance council with support from all the insurance companies.
A budgetary allocation this year would make it far more effective and efficient.
Lastly, we are looking forward to the long-pending Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008, this year, enabling an increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indian insurance companies from the current ceiling of 26%. Opening up the insurance sector for FDI investment will enhance the inflow of expertise from international insurance companies in terms of processes and data analyses.
Antony Jacob is chief executive officer, Apollo Munich Health Insurance