In a first, the Bengal government’s Rs 5-lakh special health insurance cover and another Rs 5-lakh death benefit cover for one million frontline workers battling the Covid-19 crisis do not make any distinction between the central and state employees. In the notification issued by the state, all central government staffers, including Army, paramilitary, airport, railways and KoPT along with state government employees, have been made eligible for this scheme if they are working in West Bengal.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the medical cover in March 19. The detailed notification issued by the state health department later makes it clear that this is a special insurance scheme — valid for a 30-day period from March 16 to April 15 — will cover a million frontline workers, including healthcare staffers, battling Covid-19 in Bengal. Under this scheme, a person can get up to Rs 5-lakh for Covid-19 treatment and Rs 5-lakh more as death benefits due to Covid-19. The Bengal government says this is an “extraordinary health emergency”, hence this decision.
But significantly, the eligibility criteria covers all central and state government employees, part-time and contractual workers, who are fighting against Covid-19 in Bengal. The notification says along with all healthcare workers in Bengal, police personnel, civic conservancy staffers and personnel of central police forces, defence forces, railway, airport and port officials who are engaged to the Covid-19 related duties in Bengal will be eligible for the scheme. “As of now, the state health department has capped the number of people eligible at 10 lakh, but this can be further increased based on how the situation evolves,” an officer said. The Bengal health department will process all claims, the notification says. Even state transport drivers and conductors have been made eligible for this.
Source: Times of India