Notify hospitals for senior citizens' plan, UTI told

Notify hospitals for senior citizens' plan, UTI told

Firm didn't update me on hospitals that stopped service: Complainant

The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed the Unit Trust of India (UTI) to notify the hospitals that it has empanelled to provide benefits its Senior Citizens Unit Plan (SCUP). 

The direction comes after Chinna Narayana Swamy, a city-based senior citizen, approached the Commission, seeking that a notification be issued to help beneficiaries who turned 58 before 2008. 

Under SCUP, the beneficiary and spouse can avail treatment in the empanelled hospitals on completion of 58 years to an extent of Rs 2.5 lakh after attaining an age of 58 years and Rs five lakh after the age of 61, apart from other benefits. 

Swamy told Deccan Herald that he had enrolled for the benefit since 1994 and had been utilising it since 1998. In the appeal, Swamy said that he was in for a shock when he came to know that M S Ramaiah Hospital, which was on the list of empanelled hospitals provided to him, did not cater to the beneficiaries anymore. “The response was same when I approached Narayana Hrudayalaya. The UTI did not update us about the hospitals that have discontinued their services for the scheme beneficiaries,” Swamy said. 

The senior citizen later lodged a complaint with the City’s Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, after he got no response from the UTI about the cancellation of the empanelment. 

“At that point in time, I was in shock. How is a person expected to arrange so much money from in the last minute? There are so many people who rely on this scheme. How can one expect them to go from one hospital to another hoping to avail the benefits. Not all are tech savvy to see updates online,” he said. 

In its reply, UTI said, “The complainant has already availed cashless facility in various hospitals for Rs 3.17 lakh up to 2007 against his investment of Rs 35,000.

 It is also specifically pleaded that the scheme was terminated with effect from February 18, 2008. Hence, the complainant is not eligible for receiving any other amenities and compensation.” Those who completed 58 years of age before UTI declared that the scheme would be closed, however, are still eligible to avail the treatment.