May 15, 2010

More insurance companies under CBI scanner for irregularities

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will initiate a probe against three insurance companies in connection with alleged financial irregularities and forgery in the Universal Health Insurance Scheme (UHIS), sources said Thursday.

During its raids at the Lucknow and Varanasi offices of the National Insurance Company (NIC), the Lucknow branch of CBI's anti-corruption wing had Saturday seized over 100 fake medical insurance certificates and detected financial anomalies over Rs 30 lakh.

It is now going to investigate three more companies, officials said.

The UHIS scheme is meant to provide medical benefits strictly to the below poverty line population. While the person opting for the scheme has to provide Rs 100 per year, the central government provides Rs 300 and the insurance company offers free medical treatment up to Rs 30,000.

Preliminary investigation indicates other insurance companies entrusted with the task of running the central government's scheme may also be involved in embezzlement of government funds. The several health cards were issued to those above the poverty line, sources added.

According to officials, poverty line for the urban areas is Rs.296 per month and for rural areas Rs 276 per month.

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