July 27, 2011

Domestic helps to get medical insurance benefits

About 47.5 lakh domestic helps would soon get medical insurance benefits under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) with the Union Cabinet approving the proposal today.

The scheme, which envisages smart card-based cashless health insurance cover of up to Rs 30,000 under any empanelled hospital anywhere in the country, was approved by the Cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Earlier this month, the Cabinet had given its nod to extend the same scheme to 55 lakh beedi workers by 2013-14.

The RSBY would be extended to those domestic workers who are registered and are between 18-59 years of age, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said, adding that majority of them are women.

The beneficiaries would have to get identification certificates from any two of the four institutions -- the employer, residents welfare associations, registered trade unions or the police, Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said.

The annual estimated expenditure to be incurred by the Centre to extend the benefits of RSBY to domestic workers would be Rs 29.70 crore in 2011-12, Rs 74.25 crore in 2012-13, Rs 148.50 crore in 2013-14 and Rs 297 crore in 2014-15.

While the Centre would be bearing 75 per cent of the entire cost, the states would have to incur the remaining amount. For the Northeastern states, the ratio would be 90 per cent for the Centre and ten per cent for states, Kharge said, adding that ten per cent of domestic workers would be covered in the first year

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