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Govt AIDS patients with insurance cover

Good news for Aids HIV (+)ve patients! The government is planning to offer medical insurance to patients suffering from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), in a move  that seeks to end discrimination against the HIV-positive patients.

Govt AIDS patients with insurance coverAIDS patients will soon be eligible for mediclaim insurance under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY). The government is in talks with both public and private sector insurers for offering cover to HIV-positive people, a health ministry official, who did not wish to be identified, told ET.

The government initially plans to launch the scheme with a select few public and private sector insurance companies for HIV-positive patients who fall in the below poverty line (BPL) category. The modalities of the scheme are being worked out by the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO). It has been decided that the life span of a patient suffering from AIDS will be taken as 15 years.

“Earlier, insurance companies were reluctant to sign on an AIDS patient citing that life span of the patient cannot be calculated and hence the insurance term and premium amount. This step will take care of such issues, ” a Naco official said.

At present, the RSBY scheme provides cover only against temporary diseases. The insurance cover for the HIV+ would also be the same as that for temporary disease — Rs 30,000 — but the premium to be paid would be higher. Under RSBY, the premium amount to be paid is around Rs 600.

The pattern of financing would be similar to the present RSBY scheme. The premium amount would be paid by the government. About 75% of the cost would be borne by the centre and the rest by the state government. State governments, through insurance companies, implement the scheme through a system of smart cards. A poor patient can choose from among 1,000 government and private hospitals. RSBY aims to cover 30 crore people or one third of India in five years.

It may pointed that private sector has already launched a scheme for the HIV+ patients. A mediclaim policy exclusively for those suffering from HIV was launched in Karnataka in August this year.

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