Eight months ago, Pune-based MIST LGBTQ Foundation decided to launch a special drive to enable transgender individuals to access medical insurance cover.
When M (name withheld), one of the 30-odd individuals who had got the cover, required urgent hospitalisation recently, it was this cover which helped her secure a private room in one of the top hospitals in the city.
Shyam Konnur, founder of MIST, pointed out that while the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has allowed every individual to be insured, tans individuals are mostly unaware of this. “An insurance cover helps such individuals who really require help for medical emergencies,” he said.
Insurance for trans community, Konnur said, is a necessity but given the many hurdles it faces, it is hardly utilised. “Many in the community itself point out that the government has insurance cover which individuals can avail of in government hospitals. But fees in government hospitals are anyway low,” he said.
More importantly, when a trans individual goes to a government hospital, logistical problems like whether to admit them in the male or the female ward arises. Also, given the high cost of treatment in the private sector, the only option is to resort to public funding through platforms like Ketto or Milaap.