Centre hikes premium on health insurance schemes for poor

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 31

Buffeted by too many claims, the Centre announced a hike in the premium rates for its Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) providing health care facilities to the economically depressed. From June 1, the premium rate of PMJJBY will now be Rs 436 instead of Rs 330 and of Rs 20 for PMSBY as against the present Rs 12.

The reason given by the government is “in view of the long-standing adverse claims experience of the schemes” and “in order to make them economically viable”.

No revision of premium rates was made in the last seven years since the inception of the schemes in spite of recurring losses to the insurers, said a Finance Ministry release.

Under PMSBY, claims of Rs 2,513 crore have been paid as against collection of Rs 1,134 crore. Under PMJJBY, Rs 14,144 crore was paid whereas Rs 9,737 crore was collected. Claims under both the Schemes were deposited into beneficiaries’ bank accounts through the DBT route.

The government claimed that it had closely monitored the transmission of benefits through these schemes during the pandemic and several measures were taken to simplify procedures and expedite claims as well as to reach out to the people who died during Covid.

“This would also encourage other private insurers to come on board for implementing the schemes, thereby increasing the saturation of the schemes amongst the eligible target population, especially those who are underserved or unserved population of India,” said the statement.

The premiums were raised after the IRDAI informed the Government about the adverse numbers.

The number of active subscribers enrolled under PMJJBY and PMSBY as on March 31 are 6.4 crore and 22 crore, respectively. The target over the next five years is to increase the coverage of PMJJBY from 6.4 crore to 15 crore and from 22 crore to 37 crore for PMSBY.

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