Not many takers for govt health insurance scheme

Only 1.37 lakh people enrol for Nagara Yeshasvini against the target of 20 lakh

 The State government’s health insurance scheme for urban populace – Nagara Yeshasvini (urban Yeshasvini) – has received a lukewarm response: A mere 1.37 lakh people have enrolled themselves under the scheme in the last eight months against the target of 20 lakh.

Nagara Yeshasvini offers health insurance cover up to Rs 2.5 lakh per year per individual. 

Members of co-operative societies in urban areas are eligible to avail the scheme by paying an annual premium of Rs 710 per person. 

If a member of a family gets enrolled under the scheme, four other members of her/his family also get the insurance cover. 

The government bears the remaining cost of the insurance in the form of subsidy, and it has already released Rs 10 crore for this purpose.

The scheme, designed along the lines of one being implemented for the members of rural co-operative societies, was launched in May this year. 

The State Co-operation department, which is implementing the scheme, began the enrolment on March 15, and it had initially fixed June-end as the deadline. 800 diseases covered

As many as 800 diseases are covered under the scheme. One can also claim insurance for medical consultation and diagnosis.  Poor response

Over 500 hospitals across the State have been listed for providing the medical services to the beneficiaries under Yeshasvini. But the response for the scheme is poor. The deadline was, therefore, extended four times in July, August, September and October. 

Despite widespread publicity, only 1.37 lakh people have so far enrolled under the scheme and about 1,000 have obtained insurance benefit, Chief Executive Officer of Yeshasvini Trust R M Nataraj said. On the other end, a rural Yeshasvini scheme, which was launched in 2003, has been a big hit across the State. 

As many as 33 lakh people have enrolled under it. Premium for rural Yeshasvini has been fixed at Rs 250 per person, and it is free for people belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. The maximum insurance coverage under rural Yeshasvini per individual per year is Rs 2 lakh, while it is Rs 2.5 lakh under urban Yeshasvini.

“It is a very attractive insurance scheme. No private company will provide insurance cover of Rs 2.5 lakh per year for such a small premium. 

“But it is not clear why people in urban areas are reluctant to enrol themselves under the scheme. We have directed all the societies to give wide publicity and encourage their members to avail it,” the CEO said.

Premium  He said the number of urban co-operative societies have been demanding that the premium amount should be decreased to attract people. 

A decision in this regard should be taken by the government. 

If the premium is reduced, then the insurance coverage will also come down proportionately, he added.

This apart, the Trust has proposed to enhance the cost of treatment for various surgeries being conducted by the affiliated hospitals under the scheme.

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