QubeHealth changes the way India pays for healthcare

Estimated read time 5 min read

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], January 24: The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted healthcare payments and insurance coverage for employed individuals in India. The unprecedented health crisis we experienced, brought to light the vulnerabilities in the existing healthcare and insurance systems, reshaping how individuals approach their medical expenses and coverage. One of the key aspects of this impact, has been the increased awareness of health insurance and related healthcare payments. The pandemic underscored the unpredictability of health emergencies and their potential financial burden on Indian families, and the earning members of the household.

Many employed individuals in India have recognized the need for a robust health insurance coverage to safeguard their families against unforeseen medical expenses. This awareness led to a surge in demand for health insurance policies, prompting insurers to introduce more tailored and comprehensive plans and, of course, higher premium costs. Individuals found themselves reevaluating their financial priorities, including healthcare expenses. Some may have downgraded or reconsidered their existing insurance plans to align with their revised budgets, while others may have sought alternative, more affordable coverage options.

On the other hand, medical cost inflation remains a persistent challenge in India, impacting individuals and the healthcare system. Factors such as the inflationary pressure on medical costs significantly burdens individuals, making access to quality healthcare a financial challenge. These rising healthcare costs, and inadequate healthcare insurance leads to a situation where Indians have to pay for healthcare from their savings or borrowings. This is known as ‘Out-of-pocket expenditure’ or ‘OoPE’ on healthcare and remains the single biggest reason for Indians to wipe out their family’s lifetime savings.

Many companies have attempted to solve this problem – either through healthcare plans that combine health insurance and health-package discounts OR by providing medical loans at the point of care that become a ‘desperation financing’ product rather than something that reduces the healthcare payments burden.

Mumbai-based QubeHealth has made a bold entry into this space by combining finance with healthcare. Qube is a healthcare payments company that aims to eliminate the ‘friction’ of healthcare payments at any hospital, clinic or pharmacy in India – by providing an instant discount on every healthcare payment, and a no-cost medical finance facility that funds bill payments not covered by your health insurance.

“We are changing the way Indians pay for their healthcare,” said Chris George, Co-Founder & CEO of QubeHealth. He added, “Indians spend billions of dollars yearly to pay for their family’s healthcare bills and deplete their family savings, or add on debt. These are not just for emergency medical bills; even everyday healthcare expenses like medicines, dental, eye care, or maternity account for a significant portion of a family’s annual medical expense.”

Elective healthcare procedures, including various procedures like dental, skin care, maternity, and other non-emergency medical interventions, including medicines, have witnessed a notable surge in costs in India. Factors contributing to this rise include the availability of advanced medical technologies, an increased demand for cosmetic and elective surgeries, and the overall inflation in healthcare expenses. The influx of medical tourists seeking cost-effective treatments has also influenced pricing. As a result, elective procedures such as cosmetic surgeries, fertility treatments, and elective joint replacements have become more expensive, impacting accessibility for a significant portion of the population.

When you consider that majority of healthcare expenses in any Indian household are actually for non-emergency medical areas, access to a simplified payment system and low-cost medical financing becomes pertinent. Product offerings like Qube could play a significant role in solving this problem, as can employers who are usually at the forefront of providing healthcare benefits to their employees.

Vijay Mundra of TATA Teleservices Ltd said “We are a company that cares for our team’s healthcare and are concerned about the burden of medical expenses on their families. Qube was a great way to ensure that our employees can reduce their everyday medical expenses while also having access to instant cash, at no cost to pay for any medical bill that is not covered by the group health insurance.” 

Priyanka Trivedi of CIEL HR (formerly Ma Foi), added, “The pandemic made us all aware of the uncertainty of healthcare for our families. With the rising cost of healthcare, we wanted to provide our employees with a solution that eliminates the burden of loans to pay for their family’s healthcare. Qube’s product gives all our employees an instant credit line at no cost or fees and helps them pay any hospital, clinic, or medicine bill across India.”

QubeHealth’s products are only available through Indian companies, which sign up to Qube as a healthcare benefit for their employees, as an add-on to their company-paid group health insurance. While the company intends to open up its healthcare payment products to the population at large, one needs more solutions that address the healthcare payment problem in India.

To know more about QubeHealth, Click HERE 

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