November 14, 2020 4:52:54 am
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC)’s plan to provide health cover to the urban poor hospitalised for Covid-19 treatment is likely to get scuttled due to the poor response of insurance companies along with model code of conduct being in place for the state Legislative Council elections.
Last month, the PMC had sought proposals from insurance companies for implementing the civic scheme, Covid Suraksha Kavach, which was supposed to provide a health cover of Rs 2 lakh each to those undergoing Covid-19 treatment and are registered under the existing Economically Backward Class Scheme (EBS) of the civic body.
“We invited applications from insurance companies to implement the PMC scheme, but only one company has participated. The deadline was extended but there was no response to it. The PMC cannot go ahead with only one application and wanted to seek applications from more companies,” said Kalpana Baliwant, assistant medical officer, PMC.
With the election code coming into force, the plan is likely to get further delayed, she said,adding that the plan cannot be implemented without the approval of the standing committee.
Insurance companies seem to be reluctant about implementing the PMC scheme fearing that the second wave would infect more people and it would be a financial burden for them to implement the PMC scheme, a civic official said.
The PMC is presently gearing up to form a strategy for Covid-19 vaccination and has already started collecting information of healthcare workers to be included in priority list, an official said.
As per the existing scheme, the PMC incurs 50 per cent of medical expense, upto Rs 2 lakh, for the treatment for various critical ailments of the member of EBS. The beneficiary has to register with the civic body every year by paying Rs 200 fee.
An EBS card is then provided by the PMC to those families who are residents of the civic body and are either certified as in Below Poverty Line (BPL) category or holding a Yellow ration card.
The EBS provides assistance of Rs 2 lakh to a member of the registered EBS family in a year. The Covid Suraksha Kavach Insurance scheme is proposed to provide a health cover of Rs 2 lakh for each eligible member of the registered EBS family for treatment of Covid-19.
Total of six members of the family of EBS card holders, including self, spouse, first two dependent children upto age 25 years and parents can benefit under the scheme. There is, however, no age limit in case of differently-abled child, with more than 50 per cent disability, and divorcee daughter. This child woud be considered as the third child, and such family would be allowed to have seven members instead of six as eligible to avail the scheme.
At present, the PMC has 20,000 families registered under the EBS with the total number of beneficiaries at one lakh. The PMC expected an additional one lakh members getting registered under the EBS by the end of the financial year. Thus, the plan is to cover two lakh residents under the Covid Suraksha Kavach scheme.
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