Dr. Avnish Jolly,22 July,2008 :The Government of India has announced that about 40 lakh artisans in the country would be provided health insurance coverage under the Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthya Bima Yojna (RGSSBY) by the end of Eleventh Plan.
Inaugurating the National Handicraft Design Gallery and releasing the Book “Handmade In India—An Encyclopedia of Handicrafts here on Monday, Textile Minister Shankersinh Vaghela said that RGSSBY was introduced during the Eleventh plan period under which about nine lakh artisans have been covered so far for health insurance.
The scheme covers four members of each artisan’s family and aims at enabling the artisans’ community to access the best of healthcare facilities in the country.
Under the scheme, there is a provision of medical expenses being reimbursed to the beneficiaries, subject to an annual limit of Rs 15,000 per family, besides a sum of Rs 1 lakh for personal disability or death due to an accident.
While majority of the annual premium of Rs 800 for the scheme would be borne by the central government, the beneficiaries will have to contribute nominal charges for the same.
According to sources, while the government has fixed Rs 150 as an annual premium to be paid by general category beneficiaries, those from the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes and below poverty line categories will have to pay Rs 75 to avail the facility.