Policemen may have to pay more for healthcare. With drastic jump in the claims for reimbursement of treatment expenses, the police top brass is contemplating to make the Arogya Bhagya scheme — a group insurance scheme — “viable.”

The scheme is meant to reimburse the expenses of treatment of policemen and their family members.

A senior police officer told The Hindu that the issue of claims overshooting the subscription amount was raised during the senior police officer’s conference held recently. “If it continues in the same way, the scheme will become unviable. Either the subscription amount (presently Rs. 100 per month) has to be increased or there has to be cap on the amount of reimbursement,” the officer said.

In the case of Dakshina Kannada, the amount reimbursed has been more than the total subscription amount since 2005. According to information provided by the office of the Superintendent of Police, of the subscription amount of Rs. 5.53 lakh collected in 2005, reimbursement has been to the extent of Rs. 9.63 lakh. Similar has been case in 2006 and 2007 when the amount reimbursed was Rs. 8.33 lakh (subscription amount Rs. 5.87 lakh) and Rs. 10.4 lakh (Rs. 7.31 lakh). Reimbursement has risen gradually in the next four years with 2011 seeing a record a seven fold increase - Rs. 28.56 lakh (subscription amount of Rs. 4.04 lakh). In March, Rs. 99,990 has been reimbursed as against subscription of Rs. 1.65 lakh.

Policemen are not averse to changes. “Let them double the amount of subscription. But officers should ensure that hospitals provide facilities we deserve,” said a traffic constable. Another constable said there should not be any cap on the reimbursement.

Under the scheme, each policeman pays Rs. 100 every month. Expenses for treatment of policemen, their parents, wife and children are covered under this scheme. Majority of the 1653 personnel who have availed benefit of the scheme are the police constables, head constables, second division clerks, first division clerks and sweepers. A few Assistant Sub Inspectors, Sub Inspectors and Inspectors are among the 1653 personnel who have availed the benefit of the scheme.

The scheme covers expenses of treatment provided in seven private hospitals in Dakshina Kannada namely the Athena Hospital, Pragati Speciality Hospital Puttur, A.J. Hospital, Father Mullers Hospital, Justice K.S. Hegde Charitable Hospital, Omega Hospital and Yenepoya Specialty Hospital.

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