The Availability of Health Insurance for BPL Families

Your financial condition should not determine whether you receive quality healthcare. Everybody deserves to get access to secondary and tertiary healthcare. This is where health insurance plans come in.

People usually think that health insurance premiums cost a lot. However, this is not true. There are many health insurance plans that are designed for people who fall below the poverty line. These health insurance plans for BPL families help them be prepared in case of an unforeseen mishap.

Who is Considered Below the Poverty Line?

Below Poverty Line or BPL was a concept introduced in India to identify the economically disadvantaged. Over the years, different parameters have been used to determine who falls below the poverty line. The defining criteria of the Below Poverty Line has also varied from state to state in India.

But in 2011, the Suresh Tendulkar Committee came up with a widely accepted definition of who should be considered Below the Poverty Line (BPL). According to the commission, a person whose daily expenditure is Rs. 33 in urban areas and Rs. 27 in rural areas is considered below the poverty line. This includes daily expenses on food, water, education, healthcare, transport etc.

Why Do People Below the Poverty Line Need a Health Insurance Plan?

Here is why a health insurance plan is essential for people below the poverty line.

1. Access to tertiary healthcare

In a lot of urban and rural areas in India, people below the poverty line only get access to primary healthcare. This results in a lot of death and diseases that can be avoided with a health insurance plan. With a health insurance plan, you can get access to superspeciality hospitals where specialist doctors will be able to treat you and your loved ones.

2. All medical expenses covered

A common myth about health insurance plans is that they only cover hospitalisation costs. This is untrue. Health insurance plans cover all pre-hospitalisation as well as post-hospitalisation costs. This includes the cost of outdoor check-ups and diagnostic tests that might be required before hospitalisation. After hospitalisation, there are several other costs that can arise. You may need to continue medicines and go for further check-ups. With a health insurance plan, those are covered as well.

3. Cashless treatment

One of the biggest advantages of a health insurance plan is that all your medical bills are settled cashlessly. Hence, you don’t have to pay for the bills out of your pocket first and then wait for the insurer to reimburse you. This allows financially weaker people to avail medical care instantly.

4. Critical illness cover

Health insurance plans for people below the poverty line also have a critical illness cover. So, in case you or a family member needs to undergo treatment for heart attack, cancer or other critical illnesses, all the costs will be covered.

Health Insurance Plans for Below Poverty Line Families Vs Regular Health Insurance Plans

Here are some aspects where health insurance plans for Below Poverty Line people differ from the regular health insurance plans.

Difference

Health Insurance Plans for below Poverty Line Families

Regular Health Insurance Plans

Premium

The premiums of these health insurance plans are much lower than regular insurance plans. They are usually subsidised by the government or insurance companies. Premiums may be below Rs. 500.

Premiums cost a lot more. The exact amount depends on the kind of coverage you choose to get.

Sum assured

These health insurance plans for BPL families also have a higher sum assured than regular health insurance plans. This helps them cover critical illnesses like organ transplant without the insured having to purchase an add-on critical illness cover.

The sum assured is much lower than what the health plans for BPL families offer.

Critical illness coverage

No need to buy separate critical illness coverage.

A separate critical illness cover needs to be bought.

BPL Card details

BPL cards are issued to families who fall below the poverty line, as declared by the state government. Families with a BPL ration card receive subsidised food grains. Usually 10 or 20 Kg rice, wheat etc. are given at half the price. The particulars differ from one state to another.

You can apply for a BPL card at any state government office. You can also apply for them online.

List of Health Insurance plans available for BPL Card Holders

There are 5 health insurance plans for BPL Card holders:

1. Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana is a scheme created by the Government of India. It is targeted towards workers in unorganised sectors who fall below the poverty line. The annual premium of Rs. 750 is paid by the government. The insured has to pay just Rs. 50 annually to renew the plan.

2. Universal Health Insurance Scheme

The Universal Health Insurance Scheme is introduced by public sector insurance companies. It provides accidental death cover, maternity cover and loss of income - all of which can be very beneficial. Its subsidies on the premium are offered by the government.

3. Mukhyamantri Amrutum Yojana

Mukhyamantri Amrutum Yojana is a scheme offered by the Gujarat state government. It’s critical illness cover helps you cover the cost of cancer treatments, organ transplants etc.

4. Karunya Health Insurance Scheme

The Karunya Health Insurance Scheme was introduced by the Kerala government. Its primary aim is to provide coverage to people suffering from critical illnesses. The scheme also offers the option to increase the sum assured, if need be.

5. Ayushman Bharat Yojana

Ayushman Bharat Yojana is a national health insurance scheme that makes secondary and tertiary healthcare cashless. It offers extensive coverage including 3 days of pre-hospitalisation and 15 days of post-hospitalisation costs.

READ MORE: Government Health Insurance Schemes in India

Conclusion

For a long time, people below the poverty line have thought that health insurance plans are out of reach for them. But it’s high time that these myths are broken. There are health insurance plans with subsidised premiums that can make sure that you receive proper medical care irrespective of your economic status. The several BPL health insurance schemes can really help families with strained financial health deal with a medical emergency better.

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FAQs on Health Insurance for People Below Poverty Line

  • ✔️Where can I get a BPL card?

    You can fill up the application form for a BPL card at the respective government office. It can also be filed up online.

  • ✔️Are critical illnesses like cancer covered?

    Yes, critical illnesses like cancer are covered.

  • ✔️What is the total sum insured for the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana?

    A sum of Rs. 30,000 is insured for each family.

  • ✔️Are premium payments subsidised?

    Yes, in a lot of the cases, premiums of BPL card health insurance plans are government subsidised.

  • ✔️Are pre and post hospitalisation costs covered?

    Yes, pre and post hospitalisation costs are covered by BPL health insurance scheme.