• Awaz Health Insurance Scheme by Kerala Government

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    Awaz Health Insurance is a state government initiative developed by the government of Kerala to provide health insurance and accidental death coverage for migrant workers living in the state. This is a first of its kind scheme intended for migrant labourers working in a state in India. This scheme was announced by the Kerala government in November 2017. First phase of the registration process started in December 2017. The government currently aims to identify and provide coverage for about 5 lakh inter-state labourers living in Kerala by the end of this year.

    Eligibility for Awaz Health Insurance Scheme

    Awaz Health Insurance Scheme can be availed by migrant labourers between the age of 18 years and 60 years. During the time of enrollment, labourers must provide their fingerprint, iris, and other work-related proof. Following the submission of these details, the Awaz insurance card will be issued to the worker. According to the government, migrant labourers working in hotels, footwear sector, and other industries can obtain this insurance card by enrolling in this scheme.

    Benefits of Awaz Health Insurance Scheme

    Awaz Health Insurance Scheme provides both health insurance benefit and accidental death benefit for all enrolled policyholders. The benefits offered under this cover can be listed as follows:

    Benefits Extent of coverage
    Health insurance Up to Rs.15,000
    Accidental death coverage Up to Rs.2 lakh

    At the time of the treatment, the beneficiary must provide the Awaz insurance card at the respective government hospital or empanelled private network hospital to get free medical treatment.

    Key Features of Awaz Health Insurance Scheme

    Some of the key features of Awaz Health Insurance Scheme can be listed as follows:

    • The first phase of data collection for the insurance scheme was over in December 2017. The trial run of the enrolment program will commence on June 1, 2018.
    • Official data collected in 2013 indicates that there were about 25 lakh migrant workers in the state with 2.35 lakh adding every year.
    • Enrollment for the project will be monitored by the district labour officers of the respective districts.
    • This project will be advertised across the state in different languages including Hindi, Oriya, and Bengali.
    • Registration camps will be established in over 200 locations across the state to identify and provide coverage for migrant workers.
    • The smart card issued by the government will have the name, photo, and local address of the beneficiary.
    • According to the government, the present health condition of migrant workers is a big concern. Certain diseases like malaria are said to have returned to Kerala due to migrant workers in the state.
    • Complaint redressal cells will be established in various locations across the state to ensure the smooth functioning of the program.

    Conclusion

    As noted, the government of Kerala has concerns regarding the health condition of migrant workers in the state. Improving the health of migrant workers is also expected to improve the health condition of other local residents. The government has allocated over Rs.10 crore for this scheme so far, and it is currently in the process of searching for insurance companies to provide this service.

    FAQs on Awaz Health Insurance Scheme

    1. How can an insured person avail health insurance benefits?

    2. To avail benefits under the scheme, the insured labourer will have to produce his Awaz smart card to the healthcare facility. The medical expenses incurred on providing treatment to him/her will be covered by the government up to a maximum amount of Rs.15,000.

    3. Where can one get a smart card under Awaz Health Insurance?
    4. The labour department will handle the distribution of smart cards on a regular basis. In case of any discrepancy, the labourer can contact the district labour officer.

    5. Can family members avail benefits under the plan?
    6. The government had designed this scheme to specifically help migrant labourers. Family members cannot be covered under the scheme.

    7. Are the benefits of the scheme transferable?
    8. The benefits of the scheme cannot be transferred. Only the labourer who is insured and has the smart card can avail benefits under the scheme.

    9. Where can complaints be registered under the scheme?
    10. If the insured person has any complaint, he/she can approach the district labour officer. In case he/she has an appeal, he/she can reach out to the labour commissioner.

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