KATHMANDU, Aug 7: The government is subsidizing 50 percent of the premium charge to families purchasing insurance policies against COVID-19. However, the individuals wishing to be insured against the pandemic have to fulfill the stringent conditions maintained by the Corona Insurance Standard 2020 to receive the government subsidy.
Issuing the standards on Wednesday, the Insurance Board (IB) has come up with the provision to give respite to the individuals suffering from the disease. While the general public have to pay half of the insurance premium, the premium charge is completely waived for government officials. According to the board, the standards have come into effect from July 16, the starting day of the current fiscal year.
IB Chairman Chiranjibi Chapagain said the government has introduced the scheme aiming at providing relief to the general public from excessive financial burden. “The scheme is also expected to be relevant at a time when almost all the regions of the country are at a serious risk of coronavirus spread,” he said.
According to the standards, insurers are allowed to sell policies in two categories — an insurance coverage amount of Rs 50,000 or Rs 100,000. The board however has maintained that people will have to meet stringent conditions to be eligible for the government subsidy.
Chapagain said the government subsidies on the premium charge will be provided not for a single person insuring against the disease. “It is applicable only if the entire family of the person purchases the insurance policy, which needs to be approved by the local bodies,” said Chapagain.
Likewise, the insurance policy will be defunct if the insured goes abroad within the policy validity period. Provided the individuals want to continue with the previous policy, they will have to produce a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test report as evidence of being free from coronavirus, only after 15 days of their return to Nepal.
Individuals returning from India or any third countries need to stay in isolation for 30 days to be eligible to purchase the insurance policy. Of the total time period, the person should have spent 15 days in a quarantine shelter and the other 15 days with the family members. The related approval paper by the local government body concerned is considered valid as the evidence of the returnees’ staying in isolation period.
The standard has provisioned a corona insurance management committee as an oversight unit led by an executive director of the IB. Representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and Population and a director from the IB are among the other members of the committee.
The standards require the insurers to settle the insurance coverage within seven days from the date of being declared a coronavirus patient via the PCR test result. If the patient dies before getting the insurance coverage, the nominated person will get the insured amount.