Health insurance bill in HouseThe Health Ministry on Sunday presented the Health Insurance Bill-2017 for parliamentary approval.
The Health Ministry on Sunday presented the Health Insurance Bill-2017 for parliamentary approval.
The legislation, believed to be a milestone in improving the country’s health sector, proposes universal health insurance for all Nepalis. Clause 21 of the bill states that it will consider the household as a unit, requiring all family members to sign up to the scheme.
Health Minister Giriraj Mani Pokhrel confirmed the forwarding of the bill for process in the House. The Cabinet committee in April had endorsed the health insurance draft.
Then-health minister Gagan Thapa had lobbied hard to get parliamentary nod to the bill before his tenure ended in May.
The government has launched the health security programme in Ilam, Baglung, Kailali, Baitadi, Achham, Kaski, Myagdi and Palpa districts.
The programme so far guided by regulations needs a strong legal basis for its nation-wide expansion.
The legislation will also allow for insurance premium waiver for the poor and marginalised communities as outlined in the Social Health Security Programme (Operating) Regula-tions-2015.
According to Rule 11 of the Regulations, the government waives premium for persons identified as poor.
The rule mandates waiver of the premium for people living in abject poverty and 75 percent and 50 percent premium discount for the poor and marginalised, respectively.
The Cabinet has decided to issue identity cards to the 391,831 poor households identified in a survey.
The Poor Household Support Coordination Board Secretariat had finalised the list from 25 districts in the first phase.
A household of five has to pay an annual premium of Rs2,500 to get services worth up to Rs50,000.
For each additional member, Rs425 has to be paid for health services worth up to Rs10,000.