Ayurveda seeks for the same recognition that allopathic medicine gets and this time it is in regard to Medical Insurance. A panel formed by the insurance council will probably recommend that domestic healthcare systems such as ayurveda , unani and siddha should be treated on par with allopathy when it comes to medical insurance.
“The department of Ayush has approached the General Insurance Council for looking at the possibility of accepting claims under the non-allopathic means of treatment,” said a person familiar with the development at the Council. “They made a presentation to council members, who in turn, have formed a three-member committee to look into the matter.”
The committee comprises chief executive officers from Star Health, Max Bupa and Apollo, the person said. It would examine the merits and demerits of the proposal and recommend processes to implement if it is convinced that these types of medicines should also be covered under health insurance. The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority will take a call on the issue.
Though a large section of India’s population rely on alternative forms of treatments and medicine, the Insurance industry doesn’t seem to have recognized its importance. Insurers say that there is no established way to verify or enough data to rely on to confirm these claims.
“Under allopathic means of treatment, there are scientific studies and we know how long a treatment will take, how much will it cost,’’ said TA Ramalingam, head of underwriting, Bajaj Allianz General Life Insurance. “But under the alternative means like homeopathy, we do not have enough data to cover them. For example, curing an ailment under homeopathy may take years, we would not have a structured way of looking at data. But under allopathic means of treatment, it’s more immediate, and hence, easily manageable” he adds.
But the health and family welfare ministry is pushing hard for it as it is affordable and the majority of the population makes use of the domestic expertise in these areas. Allopathic medicines are expensive even for those who are in urban centers.