Insurance cover for Karnataka's HIV+ kids

Insurance cover for Karnataka's HIV+ kids

To meet this objective, which is being said to be the first of its kind in the country, the government will announce earmarking funds in its forthcoming Budget which will be presented in the Legislative Assembly on February 24.

According to sources, the insurance premium the government will pay for each HIV-positive child per year will be Rs 1,500. Irrespective of the income levels of the parents of an estimated 11,656 children, who have been detected to be carrying to the deadly HIV virus, the total expenditure of the government on insurance will be an estimated Rs 1.8 crore.

This will be a small, additional component to the Health Department’s allocation which in the 2010-11 Budget was Rs 2,673 crore. However, sources said that to make the scheme a success, the government has tied up with Star Alliance Insurance. The decision to provide insurance cover to HIV-positive children comes in the backdrop of pressure from non-government organisations which have favoured operationalisation of such a scheme. Besides, in December 2008, Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu had promised adopting all HIV-positive children across the state and provide them education and health cover.

The government’s current decision comes after it found achieving Sriramulu’s target difficult to achieve. Sources said that children whose immunity is low require medicines worth Rs 3,000 to 4,000 a month and that the health insurance cover would go a long way in meeting the medical expenses.

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