To curb fake bills, Maharashtra gives free medical cover for legislators

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Not just current but former legislators of Maharashtra as well as their families will soon get free medical insurance cover. The Devendra Fadnavis government has decided to provide insurance cover up to Rs 10 lakh at a cost of Rs 9.96 crore annually.

Devendra Fadnavis

The government intends to pay insurance premiums on behalf of 335 sitting MLAs and 837 former legislators of the state every year for free medical insurance cover. The scheme will also extend protection for six members of each insured person's family up to Rs 10 lakh. In all, the government intends to spend close to Rs 10 crore on a yearly basis to pay premiums of 1,172 present and ex-legislators.

Earlier, legislators were covered under the medical reimbursement scheme. All bills submitted by the legislators would be put before a committee headed by medical officers. Once approved, the bills would be reimbursed under the previous scheme. Now, once the new insurance scheme kicks in, six members of a family irrespective of age and health condition will be collectively entitled to an insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh. In the case of exhaustion of cover, a contingency provision of Rs 10 crore will kick in for all legislators.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is said to have taken the decision in June in a bid to curb fake and duplicate bills being produced to receive medical reimbursements. The insurance scheme will be applicable to 4,700 hospitals across the country. Legislators will be extended a cashless facility under the scheme.

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