UP to extend health scheme benefit to MNREGA workers

The Uttar Pradesh government is all set to extend the benefit of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yoyana (RSBY) — the health insurance scheme for the poor — to the state's MNREGA workers.

Though the provision to include MNREGA workers in RSBY was there for the last three years, as of now, only people living below poverty line (BPL) get the health insurance cover in UP. However, as MNREGA workers are both BPL as well as some above poverty line (APL) families, the insurance cover will now be provided to both the categories. This is the first instance in the state where even APLs will get the benefit of the insurance scheme.

"We have asked the department of rural development to provide us with village-wise data of MNREGA workers of all the districts. As soon as we get the list of workers, we will send it to Government of India for generation of their unique registration number (URN). Once that is done, we can enrol MNREGA workers in our scheme from the next policy period, which differs from district to district," said Sangeeta Singh, ACEO, RSBY.

Under this cashless health insurance scheme, the beneficiaries are provided hospitalisation cover worth Rs 30,000, for which they have to pay only Rs 30 as registration fee. 75 per cent of the premium is paid by the central government and 25 per cent is borne by the state governments.

The cost of insurance premium of these MNREGA workers will be borne by the department of rural development, she said. The insurance will only be provided to those MNREGA workers who have completed at least 15 days of work in that financial year. As MNREGA workers keep changing and the insurance policy is renewed every year, only those MNREGA workers who are in the current list of Rural Development department will be eligible for one year of insurance policy. Their policy renewal will further depend on their work under MNREGA, she explained.

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