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Nepal: Govt health insurance scheme off to a slow start

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Dec 2016

The government’s plan to provide universal health insurance is off to a weak start, with around 18,000 people enrolling in the scheme since mid-July. The scheme started out targeting the 1.3 million people in three districts. The low enrolment rate is attributed to lack of public education about the scheme.
 
   Aggravating matters, a total of 2,200 people received insurance compensation during this period, reported My Republica citing Dr Guna Raj Lohani, chief of the insurance programme at the Ministry of Health (MoH). 
 
   The government’s plan is to provide insurance cover to the total population of about 28 million in all 75 districts within a period of three years, extending the scheme to 25 districts each successive year.
 
   “A five-member family will have to pay the government NPR2,500 (US$23) annually as insurance premium. If there are more members in a family, they will have to pay NPR425 for each additional member,” said Dr Lohani. The government has made health insurance premiums of up to NPR50,000 per family tax-exempt.
 
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