A just-introduced insurance plan that covers retired HAL employees and their spouses is bringing cheer to many. The state-run company says it is the only initiative of its kind.
A B Monappa (74), who retired from the State-owned aircraft maker, is battling a heart ailment. Medical expenses are a cause of concern for many like him.
HAL is picking up a tab of `55 crore a year, and setting an example in caring for employees well into their advanced years.
Now a resident of Madikeri, Monappa will be the first beneficiary of the new scheme that came into force on February 1. He settled in his home town after his retirement in 2000 as a flight mechanic.
“We have already borrowed `50,000. We hope this new plan will help us in our difficult times,” said Monappa’s son Bopanna, who works at a private firm in Muscat, Oman.
Monappa had already undergone a bypass in 2011, and the family knows how expensive a hospital admission can be.
HAL Retired Executives’ Association president G S Jamadagni, who worked with the company for implementation of the scheme, said, “Monappa is the first retired employee to be helped by the scheme.”
Most retired employees are in their 60s or 70s, some even older. “The increasing cost of health care is a major concern for us,’’ said Jamadagni, 73, who retired in 2001 as general manager (quality). “Those living with hypertension and diabetes spend around `2,000 a month on treatment.”
HAL chairman RK Tyagi concurs. “Retired employees have a limited income, but the cost of medical services keep increasing. This scheme makes a huge difference to them.’’
The scheme covers pre-existing ailments and out-patient expenses of retired employees and their spouses. If a retired employee dies, the spouse continues to be covered.
Prior to implementation of the scheme, retired HAL employees had limited access to health care: they were entitled to concessional treatment at the company’s hospitals in Bangalore and Nashik.
The new scheme benefits 18,000 ex-employees and their families, including 1,200 widows.
Another 4,000 workmen retired after January 1, 2007, are likely to be brought under the scheme soon. They are currently excluded because their salary includes a contribution towards another scheme.
HAL Director of Human Resources V M Chamola said the scheme gives a fillip to the company’s human resources retention drive.