Jharkhand to launch health insurance for poor families

July 21st, 2008 - 2:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, July 21 (IANS) The Jharkhand government will launch a central sponsored national health insurance scheme from October to help people living below the poverty line (BPL) seek free medical treatment, an official spokesman said Monday. “The BPL families will be provided cashless smart cards with a value of Rs.30,000 each. The card can be used for medical treatment,” labour secretary S.K. Chaudhary told IANS.

“To implement the scheme, we will invite the insurance companies through a bid,” Chaudhary said.

The national health insurance scheme will be first launched in Ranchi, Garwah, Chaibasa, Dhanbad and Deoghar districts of the state.

The labour department has prepared a list of around 700,000 families in the five districts.

The information and technology (IT) department will help in preparing the smart card. The insurance company, which qualifies the bid, will come up with the list of both government and private hospitals where people can get treatment worth up to Rs.30,000.

It is a central sponsored scheme and the union government will bear 75 percent of the total premium and the rest will be paid by the state government.

“We have a plan to cover all the 24 districts by next year,” said the labour secretary.

At least 52 percent of about 27 million population in Jharkhand lives below the poverty line.

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