Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Health Insurance for Poor fails to take off

 The Central Government's flagship programme of providing health insurance cover to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in Srinagar district has failed to take off due to lack of will by the its nodal agency, the State's Health Department.

The Jammu and Kashmir Government had announced a health insurance cover for 66,000 families in the two districts of state, Jammu and Srinagar, who fall in the category of Below Poverty Line (BPL).

The scheme known as Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), provides Rs 30, 000 to the families, after they pay a nominal registration fee of Rs 30.

The beneficiaries under RSBY scheme are entitled to cashless hospitalization coverage for most of the diseases through the network of identified hospitals up to expenditure of Rs 30,000 per family per annum.

The scheme is for those people who are under BPL and can't afford medical aid. It covers five members of a family which include the head of the house, spouse and up to three dependents.

The Central and State Governments are paying the premium to the healthcare providers (insurance companies) being selected by the State Government. The contract has been given to United Insurance and they have to install machines at selected hospitals where the BPL families will get cash less hospitalization through Insurance Company.

The Central Government is providing 90 percent contribution for the scheme while state has to pay only 10 percent.

The selection of the two districts in the state was part of pilot project and later it was scheduled to be implemented in other parts of the state within a year. But not a single smart card has been issued to the BPL families in Srinagar district.

The scheme was started 7 years ago in other states of the country but Jammu and Kashmir was left out. One of the reasons is that it comes under the mandate of the Labour and Employment Department and other is that there was no BPL data with the Government.

And now when the two issues were resolved lack of will on part of the Health Department is affecting the implementation of the project in Srinagar and rest of the state.

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