Reconsider Policy of Giving Health Insurance to Families: Madras HC

On Monday the Madras High Court directed the State Government to reconsider its policy of giving health insurance to poor families.

Background:

The Tamil Nadu Government on 22nd May 2021 introduced the Chief Minister’s Health Insurance Policy. The families whose yearly income is less than 72,000 can avail the benefits of the said policy.

The minimum income level to avail of the benefits was very less due to which a petition was filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for issuance of a Writ of Mandamus directing all of the private Nursing Homes, Polyclinics, and Hospitals of all kinds existing in the State of Tamil Nadu to provide free treatment to the Covid -19 infected patients who can’t afford the treatment.

Petitioner’s Contentions:

The petitioner contended that the income level set by the government is too low. Even on the basis of the minimum wages payable to an unskilled worker, the annual income of a family with an unskilled worker will exceed the minimum eligibility threshold of 6,000 per month.

The petitioner thus prayed before the High Court to direct the Govt. to raise the minimum level of income so that a larger group of people can benefit from the scheme.

Court’s Observation:

The Court observed that the matter is of policy-making therefore the state couldn’t directly be interfere with it. However, the Court observed that the contentions in the petition were reasonable and the government should increase the minimum threshold level to allow a larger number of families to avail benefit of the said scheme.

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Apart from it, the Court also directed the government to take into consideration the financial losses faced by many families due to the treatment of Covid positive family members. The government should try to add such families too in the scheme, added the court.

The matter is listed for further hearing on 7th June 2021.

Story by Harshwardhan Pawar – Intern

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