Bringing Health Insurance to India’s Urban Poor: Exploring the Contours of Collaborative Action

Bringing Health Insurance to India’s Urban Poor: Exploring the Contours of Collaborative Action

22 August 2017
The Taj Mahal Hotel, Mansingh Road, New Delhi


India’s insurance regulations of 2016 introduce the concept of “pilot products” aimed at encouraging innovations in the design of covering risks. Preliminary discussions with the insurance regulator in India have suggested that they would like to encourage insurers to collaborate on designing and implementing pilot products. To this end, the USAID-supported Health Finance and Governance (HFG) project and USAID/India’s PAHAL project are supporting insurers and providers to design and implement pilots of health insurance for the urban poor.


The HFG and PAHAL projects will organize a technical consultation meeting to discuss the insurance landscape and begin to explore options for developing a comprehensive health insurance strategy for the urban poor in India. This consultation will be a forum for public and private insurers, network aggregators, and health care service providers to discuss approaches for protecting the urban poor from onerous health care expenditures. Specifically, it aims to:

  • Explore opportunities and options for collaboratively developing a comprehensive health insurance strategy (including pilots) focusing on targeting, coverage, and product design.
  • Identify immediate next steps for sustaining the momentum generated in this consultation meeting.

HFG is also working with key stakeholders to convene a Technical Working Group on Health Insurance (TWGHI) composed of a range of stakeholders (insurers, providers, regulator, key government officials, integrators, and experts). The TWGHI will steer the process of initiating the pilots and help in defining HFG’s research and advocacy priorities for developing a comprehensive response. The TWGHI will also provide guidance to HFG’s technical assistance partnerships proposed in the process.

Key Outcomes of the Consultation Meeting

The expected outcomes of the consultation meeting are:

  • Preliminary identification of opportunities and options to expand coverage and develop affordable insurance products for urban poor including primary care.
  • Determination of next steps for establishing the TWGHI to build upon the outcome of the consultation meeting.

Workshop Approach

The meeting will take a workshop approach; deliberations will be interactive presentations. After registration, preliminaries, and inauguration, resource persons from IRDA, NITI Aayog, insurers, and providers will present their perspectives. This will be followed by a technical session in which a mixed group of insurers, providers, and others discuss their perspectives, interests, and potential roles in developing collaborative arrangements, targeting strategies for the urban poor, and coverage and product design, all of which will inform development of a comprehensive strategy for health insurance for the urban poor.

Back to Top