National Insurance Company (NIC) has grabbed a 20 per cent share of the total market for Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), a health insurance scheme for unorganised sector workers and their families living below the poverty line (BPL) according to a company statement.

The RSBY was introduced by the government and is implemented by the non-life insurers from 2008. It extends cashless quality medical care for treatment of diseases involving hospitalisation and surgery through an identified network of healthcare providers.

The premium can vary but is capped at Rs.750 per annum for a Rs.30,000 benefit. The beneficiary pays only Rs.30 per annum as registration or renewal fee which the Centre and the State government shares the cost of the premium in a 75-25 proportion.

NIC has now covered 50 lakh families comprising 2.2 crore people in 69 districts in 8 states. The states covered by NIC include Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana, Bihar, West Bengal and the three north-eastern states of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.

Over Rs.40 crore has been paid by way of settled claims and various public and private hospitals which are participating in this scheme. The scheme will cover five members of every family and there is no upper age limit and all pre-existing diseases are covered. The scheme operates through a smart card which is available through the respective gram panchyats and the municipalities.

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