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Health insurance plan brings more benefits

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Safety net: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan distributing cards of the RSBY-CHIS insurance plan in the city on Tuesday.
Safety net: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan distributing cards of the RSBY-CHIS insurance plan in the city on Tuesday.

Staff Reporter

VS opens next phase of plan that covers BPL, APL families

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan inaugurated the second phase of the RSBY-CHIS (Comprehensive Health Insurance) scheme here on Tuesday, under which 35 lakh families in the State will get health insurance coverage.

He said that the scheme, implemented by the State by modifying the Centre's RSBY scheme to include BPL and APL families, the unorganised sector, endosulfan victims etc., was unique. The Centre would pay insurance premium for only 11.79 lakh families it classified as BPL. The State would provide insurance cover for the rest.

Because of increasing medical expenses, the State had recommended that insurance coverage of Rs.30,000 under the scheme be hiked. The government had decided in principle to give free treatment up to Rs.1 lakh for renal and heart diseases and cancer.

In its first year, the scheme had covered 22 lakh families. This year, it offers more benefits. All farmers, coir, cashew, handloom, beedi, khadi, and plantation workers, regardless of APL/BPL status, those who worked for 50 days under the MGNREGS, ‘Ashraya' families, fishermen and SC/ST families are included. This year, free treatment worth Rs.70,000 is being offered additionally for heart and renal diseases and cancer.

The money offered in the event of the death of the head of the family or his wife goes up to Rs.50,000 from Rs.25,000. An additional aid of Rs.50,000 will be given for treatment of serious burn injuries.

The plan is operational in 134 government hospitals and 165 private hospitals. CHIS offers annual medical insurance of Rs.30,000 to a BPL family of five members for a premium of Rs.30. APL families can join by paying the full premium, which is fixed this year at Rs.464.

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