“I am close to realizing my dream of ensuring that nobody in the state ends up spending their life savings on hospital expenses,’’ said chief minister Ashok Gehlot to India today. The emotional register of that pitch is designed for maximum impact.
For beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act, small and marginal farmers, contract workers, destitute families that receive ex gratia payments from the state government, the insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh will be free. For the others, the cover will come at an annual premium of Rs 850. All beneficiaries will be entitled to cashless hospitalisation in 1,092 government hospitals—and 336 private ones—in the state. There is no devil in the fine print either—no age bar or restrictions based on pre-existing diseases. Medical expenses five days prior to hospitalisation and 15 days after discharge will also be covered.
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