State Considers Cashless Cover for All
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11 March 2011
By Sanjeev Shivadekar
If the state government has its way, all domicile holders of Maharashtra will be insured for cashless medical facilities. However, those individuals interested in the scheme would have to bear the premium charges to be paid towards the insurance company.
Last year, in the state budget session, the DF government announced that under the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevan Andayi Arogya Yojana, all those holding below poverty line (BPL) ration cards would be given free medical treatment for major ailments such as cancer, nephrology, cardiac problems and other major health issues. Similarly, for the above poverty line ration card holders (APL) will have to pay nominal charges for treatment.
"We are covering BPL and APL, so why should people with white ration cards be deprived of the government scheme that intends to make health facilities available for citizens at nominal charges," asked Suresh Shetty, public health minister.
There are nearly 2.16 crore ration card holders in the state. Of these, 9.54 lakh are white card ration card holders, 68 lakh BPL card holders and 1.38 crore are APL card holders.
"At present, the scheme is only for BPL and APL card holders. The government will tie up with the insurance company and pay the insurance amount on behalf of these card holders," a senior health department official said.
Admitting that a time will come when all citizens will have to be incorporated in the scheme, Shetty said,"If any individual wants to be beneficiary of the scheme, he or she will have to shell out the money as a premium towards of the insurance company."
However, the minister made it clear that the idea is at a very nascent stage and will take time to implement. Meanwhile, a review meeting under the chairmanship of chief minister Prithivriaj Chavan was held on Thursday. Budgetary allocation, technical hurdles and other issues related to the scheme were discussed and sorted out.