The Parliament this week passed a Bill to introduce health insurance for all citizens in Nepal.
The Health Insurance Act is deemed necessary to reduce the financial burden on ordinary people of bearing the cost of medical treatment.
A five-member family can join the health insurance scheme at a premium of NPR2,500 (US$24) a year. In return, the family would be covered for up to NPR50,000 for the year at government-run hospitals or primary healthcare centres. A family of more than five has to pay an additional NPR450 for additional coverage of NPR10,000 for each extra member, reported Kathmandu Tribune.
There is a provision in the new Act for the government to bear the insurance premium for poor people, the disabled, single women, senior citizens and orphan children.
The insurance policy has to be renewed every year. Those covered by the insurance will be able to receive diagnosis and lab test services as well as medication. The health insurance scheme however does not cover plastic surgery, expensive spectacles, hearing aids and injury suffered in a drunken brawl.