Health financing plays a pivotal role in ensuring access to quality healthcare services for all individuals, including those belonging to the missing middle, forming 30 per cent of India’s population.

One of the primary challenges in financing the missing middle is the lack of affordable options tailored to their needs. Government-sponsored healthcare programmes like Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB- PMJAY) are targeted towards low-income populations, that is, covering only 40 per cent of the population at the bottom of the pyramid. Nearly 70 per cent of the population is now estimated to be protected by some health insurance coverage including State Government schemes, social insurance schemes and private insurance.

Despite this progress, 30 per cent of the population — over 40 crores middle-income individuals — have limited options for subsidised coverage. Private health insurance plans can be prohibitively expensive.

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