Insurers seek states help to meet health scheme target

New Delhi, March 22 | Updated: Mar 23 2006, 06:34am hrs
Even as the government has managed to cover only about 60,000 people of the targeted 10 lakh under the universal health insurance scheme (UHIS), about 75% of it has been in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

To implement the scheme in other states, the four state-owned general insurance companies are trying to rope in the the respective states. The Oriental Insurance and United Insurance have initiated talks with the Delhi and Uttaranchal governments on the issue.

Talks are on and we hope to get full support of the state governments for the implementation of the UHIS, sources said, adding that the poorer sections of the society would need insurance cover the most. The UHIS is targeted towards people coming under the below poverty line category. The official said that the finance ministry is working out a concrete strategy by which the scheme could be a success.

It may be noted that the government has spent about Rs 2.5 crore in 2005-06 on the scheme out of a total budgetary support of Rs 3 crore. Meanwhile, the Committee on Public Undertakings which has already presented a report on health insurance in Parliament has pointed out that only 10% of the population in the country are covered under a health insurance scheme. It added that the health service providers must be made accountable.

It said that affording the premium of health insurance schemes is beyond the economic capacity of BPL people as well as for a large section of the population living just above the poverty line.