THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It is just what the doctor ordered as far as Keralites are concerned! The Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhathi (KASP), to be rolled out on April 1 will cover injuries during suicide attempt and alcohol-induced diseases.
Kerala is thought to be the first state in the country to introduce a public insurance scheme incorporating these two risks, normally not covered under health insurance programmes.
A good majority of claims would have been denied if diseases due to the excessive intake of alcohol are excluded as per usual norm, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rajeev Sadanandan told Express.
“The single major challenge to the state’s healthcare sector is alcohol abuse.
We pressed for this exemption not for encouraging the tipplers but to help their families,”said Sadanandan.
“A tippler would’ve spent his whole savings and that of the family by the time he catches an ailment. We want to save the family from incurring huge expenses as his treatment cost,” he said.
As per a 2015 report of the National Crime Records Bureau, Kerala is ranked eighth in terms of suicide rate in the country. About 40.96 families in the state, existing beneficiaries of the Centre’s Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) scheme and state’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS), will be covered under the KASP.
The new scheme with a maximum health coverage upto Rs 5 lakh is formed by integrating all healthcare and insurance schemes in the state, including the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat-Prime Minister’s Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) and Karunya Benevolent Fund.
Reliance General Insurance which quoted an annual premium amount of Rs 1,671 per person was selected as the insurance provider. A total of 1,824 health packages are offered under the KASP when compared to the 1,354 in the AB-PMJAY. The total outlay of the new scheme is Rs 684 crore of which Centre will provide Rs 136 crore. The total outlay for the RSBY and CHIS in the current fiscal is about Rs 400 crore.