Health insurance company, Cigna, has announced that it has completed a joint venture deal that will allow it to sell health insurance products in the fastest growing market, in India.
In India, 85 percent of all people do not have health insurance. The joint venture which will bring Cigna into this marketplace will be with a company called TTK Group, which is better known for appliances such as its Prestige brand pressure cookers, but which also manufactures medical devices and drugs, and administers insurance policies.
This announcement comes at a time that policymakers in India are trying to boost the use of health insurance coverage throughout the country. The nation’s 15 percent that are covered by some kind of health insurance represents a far smaller group than nearby China, which boasts a portion of approximately 90 percent of its population with at least a basic form of protection.
Neither company’s officials would give the deal a specific value, nor would they reveal the amount that would be invested by either. They did express their desire to begin the sale of health insurance policies by 2013, following the receipt of their regulatory approval.
Although the insurance market may still be small at the moment, the health insurance market in India is rapidly on the grow. Data from the Insurance Information Bureau from the Indian government showed that in 2010, approximately 4.6 percent of the population had coverage – 55 million people with protection through 6.8 million policies from private insurers – which had skyrocketed from 2009, when there were fewer than 9 million people covered by health insurance.