6 January 2009
Scheme will cover more than 25 Lakh Workers
Officials said the scheme would largely benefit labourers working in farms, construction industry, irrigation and infrastructure projects and as household domestic help. Besides, there are lot of unorganised labourers in Mumbai working in hotels and small–scale units who may qualify for benefits under this health insurance scheme. However, the maximum health cover will be limited to Rs 30,000 under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), a central government initiative.
The state has implemented the scheme in seven districts since July 2008, but has decided to extend it to 17 more districts realising that it has to contribute only 25 per cent of the insurance premium (the rest is paid by the centre). The Maharashtra government has earmarked Rs 11.53 crore for labourers’ health cover under this scheme.
The insurance scheme will provide health cover to labourers in Mumbai (city and suburban), Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Raigad, Buldana, Chandrapur, Akola, Wardha, Gondia, Gadchiroli, Washim, Bhandara, Jalna, Hingoli, Latur and Nandurbar. The state has included all the drought–hit districts of Vidarbha in the scheme to benefit farm labourers under distress.
Significantly, the health insurance scheme will cover more than 25 lakh poor labourers against all kinds of ailments requiring hospitalisation or surgery. “The state government has already identified labourers below poverty line. It will issue smart cards to these labourers for cashless treatment in hospital,” a labour department official said.