The cost of an Oscar medical card has soared by nearly $1 billion to $6,632, the largest cost increase in the medical industry in more than a decade.
The total was up $100 million, or 13 percent, from 2016, the last year for which data is available.
In 2016, there were 1,084,811 Oscar cards issued to people aged 65 and over, up 10 percent from 1,054,531 in 2015.
The surge in medical bills comes amid rising costs for other necessities, such as dentistry and prescriptions, which are driving up medical bills in India.
“The increase in medical costs is due to the high cost of living in India,” said Rajeev Kumar, senior vice president and chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.
He noted that while the cost of a regular doctor’s visit was about $400 in 2015, the average cost of care rose from $500 to $700 between 2015 and 2016.
“It is a major reason why people are seeking care at home,” Kumar said.
India’s Health Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.
As India’s healthcare costs are expected to rise faster than the cost for the rest of the world in coming years, health officials are increasingly worried about the impact the increase in costs would have on their ability to provide care and treatment.
In January, the government of India announced that it was reducing the number of hospitals across the country by about 500 to reduce demand and to increase funding for hospitals.
Since then, the Indian Medical Association has called for a national referendum on the proposal.