New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday reviewed the progress made under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) insurance scheme for health workers fighting Covid-19 and asked insurers to accelerate the disbursement of pending claims under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY).
During a virtual meeting with the heads of insurance companies, she stressed on the importance of streamlining the process and documentation requirements under the schemes so that the claims are disbursed speedily, an official statement said. The finance minister observed that under the PMGKP scheme, a total of 419 claims have been paid as on date, amounting to Rs 209.5 crore disbursed in the account of their nominees.
To address the issue of delays arising out of states sending documents, Sitharaman said that a new system has been put in place whereby a simple certificate from the District Magistrate (DM) and endorsed by the nodal state health authority will be sufficient to process these claims. She also appreciated the efforts of New India Assurance Co which has been entrusted to manage the scheme and cited the example of Ladakh where a claim was settled within four hours of receiving the District Magistrate (DM) certificate and urged to maintain a similar approach in future.
The finance minister also directed the states to take up Covid claims of health workers on priority and make maximum use of this simplified mechanism that has been put in place. A total of 4.65 lakh claims have been paid amounting to Rs 9,307 crore under PMJJBY. Since the beginning of the pandemic that is April 2020 onwards till date, 1.2 lakh claims have been paid amounting to Rs 2,403 crore, at a disposal rate of 99 per cent.
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The finance minister also took stock of the disposal of claims made under Pradhan Mantri Surksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) scheme. A total of 82,660 claims have been paid settled amounting to Rs 1,629 crore as of May 31, 2021. Appreciating the recent efforts made by insurance companies and banks in speedy processing of claims, she said that insurance company officials should continue being sympathetic while providing services to nominees of deceased policy holders, especially during pandemic period.
She also appreciated the initiatives taken recently to facilitate claims processing under PMJJBY and PMSBY during the pandemic including processing of claims by insurers within 7 days instead of 30, end-to-end digitization of the claim settlement process between banks and insurance companies and claim documents transmission via email/App.
Public sector insurance companies are going to implement API-based App for claim transmission by June 2021 and rationalised forms and simplified claims process being issued shortly, an official statement said, adding attending doctor’s certificate or certificate issued by DM/authorized officer, in lieu of death certificate to be considered for the faster settlement of claim.
These claim amounts provide much-needed financial relief to nominees who have lost near and dear ones, and the government’s steps will enhance the ease and speediness of this process, it added. PMJJBY and PMSBY were launched in 2015 to provide life and accidental insurance covers respectively of Rs 2 lakh each to all beneficiaries enrolled under the schemes through their bank with annual premium of only Rs 330 and Rs 12, respectively.
The objective is to ensure that more and more persons working in the unorganised segment get the much-needed financial security of Rs 4 lakh by enrolling themselves under PMJJBY and PMSBY at a premium of less than Rs 1 per day. Through the government’s financial inclusion programme, while over 42 crore bank-accounts have been opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), cumulative enrolments under PMJJBY and PMSBY are 10 crore and 23 crore respectively, it said.
With Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-mobile linking, the beneficiaries of different government schemes are receiving the government support directly in their bank-accounts, it added.