The number of individuals insured under the Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthya Bima Yojana (RGSSBY), the first-ever ‘cashless’ health insurance initiative for artisans in India, has crossed the 19-lakh mark as on September 30.

Artisans spread over 29 states and 608 districts benefit from this comprehensive health insurance scheme facilitated by the Handicrafts Development Commissioner under the Ministry of Textiles, a press release issued here stated.

All artisans up to the age of 80 are eligible for coverage under RGSSBY.

Under this scheme, an artisan, his/her spouse and two dependents are covered annually for hospitalisation expenses up to Rs 15,000 and the principal member is also covered for Rs 1 lakh on accident, the release said.

It is also for the first time in the country that a health insurance scheme is giving cashless treatment for out patient (OPD) treatment.

A network of 860 OPD centres includes selected clinics for providing day-to-day treatment on a cashless basis to the artisans, including alternative therapies such as unani, ayurveda, homoeopathy and siddha, the release said.

The insured artisans can also get access to free hospitalisation in over 2,683 hospitals across urban and rural India.

Nearly 6 lakh policy-holders this year availed of RGSSBY’s facilities, the release said.

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