Cashless Health Insurance Scheme to be Unveiled for Senior Citizens in Union Budget 2016
Modi Government Continues Extending Insurance Schemes to Poor
Well, this is called ‘problem solving’ at its best. Or in search of a better word, we can also call it ‘best utilization of resources.’ According to a recent Economic Times report government is planning to put the unclaimed amount of thousands of crores to a better use as it plans to utilize those funds for providing health insurance to senior citizens.
Unclaimed money isn’t any new thing in India. Assets of more than Rs. 33,000 crores are lying unclaimed in various financial institutions of our country. Just have a look at these stats:
|Unclaimed Assets||Financial value|
|Provident funds||Rs. 22,000 crores|
|Bank accounts||Rs. 5,000 crores|
|Insurance companies||Rs. 3,000 crores|
|Post offices||Rs. 1,900 crores|
|Stocks and bonds||Rs. 1,100 crores|
|Mutual funds||Rs. 400 crores|
|Total||Rs. 33,400 crores|
Now NDA-led government has decided to use this money for providing a cashless health insurance cover to country’s senior citizens, who often depend on their children or other family members to meet their health care requirements. The quantum of cover will be more than Rs. 50,000 for each person. An estimated 25 – 30 crore senior citizens are expected to benefit from the scheme.
This scheme will be managed by the Department of Financial Services, which is a department belonging to Finance Ministry. And just like many other government schemes this one will also utilize the method of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for providing the benefits directly to concerned person. In other words, bank accounts of every senior citizen who wants to take advantage of this scheme will be linked to the his/her insurance policy via Aadhar Card. The amount of insurance, whenever needed, will be transferred directly to the account of insured person.
Now let’s talk a bit about the money that’ll be used to fund the scheme. A new Senior Citizens Welfare Fund will be set up for the scheme, which will be funded from the accounts that’re not claimed even after 7 years of being declared as “inoperative.” And even after that government won’t forfeit the unclaimed funds – at any point of time if claimants come forward to claim their money, it’ll be provided to them. The funds are actually revolving in nature, which means that government will almost always have enough money to fund the scheme.
It’s worth mentioning that since coming to power last year Modi government has launched several insurance schemes to extend the reach of such services to those who can’t afford them. The government has already launched both life insurance and accidental insurance schemes for the needy. The only thing remaining was a health insurance scheme. Therefore, this launch seems a logical extension over the existing portfolio.
This year’s Union Budget is to be presented on February 29. If Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitely really presents this scheme that day, this budget is bound to earn some serious praise for Modi government.