New India Assurance to insure health workers engaged in coronavirus fight

Medics wearing protective suits interact with each other outside an isolation ward, set up in view of coronavirus pandemic in Kochi. PTI
The central government has selected New India Assurance, the country’s largest public sector non-life insurer, to provide insurance coverage to more than 2 million health care professionals taking care of the patients diagnosed with the deadly Covid-19.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, last week, announced that under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, all health care professionals — safai karmacharis, ward boys, ASHA workers, paramedics technicians, doctors, and specialists — would be covered by a special insurance scheme. “Any health care professional, who while treating Covid-19 patients, meets with an accident, he/she would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh under the scheme,” Sitharaman had said.

The special insurance scheme would be a group personal accident policy, which includes accidental loss of life on account of contracting the deadly virus. “The tailor-made policy will provide comprehensive personal accident cover, including accidental loss of life on account of contracting Covid-19 pandemic disease,” New India Assurance said to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It said the premium process had been initiated.

The tenure of the policy will be for a period of 90 days starting from March 30 and the sum assured is Rs 50 lakh. If a health care professional unfortunately dies after contracting the disease, then he/she will be paid an amount of Rs 50 lakh under the scheme.

The premium for the insurance scheme will be paid by the government and will be in the range of Rs 500-600, said a person aware of the development. None of the private sector general insurers has been communicated anything about the scheme. “There will be no reinsurance support for New India Assurance as the need for it may not arise as even in worst of scenarios. There would not be a large number of casualties of health care professionals,” said the source.

This will be over and above any other insurance scheme being availed of by the health professional. Under the scheme, all government health centers, wellness centers, and hospitals would be covered.


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