According to the 2011 Census, there are 21 Lakh people with multiple disabilities and 15 Lakh people with intellectual disabilities. Battling these disabilities calls to the importance of having a health plan. Private health plans can cost a chunk in terms of premiums or might have a minimum cover limit. But who will cater to those with a small wallet? Who will cater to those who can’t shell out thousands of rupees every month. Here is when the Indian Government walks in with a solution in hand called Nirmaya.

The objective of the Nirmaya scheme is to provide affordable health insurance to all people with disabilities. This plan covers several particulars such as OPD treatments, surgeries to avoid disability aggravation, treatment for congenital disability, therapies, and transport too (A very small component of the cover). The mentioned treatments can be taken from any hospital. The insurance cover given by this scheme is ₹ 1 Lakh, keeping in mind that it is only on reimbursement basis.

The cherry on the cake is that the beneficiaries do not require pre-insurance medical tests to obtain benefits. With its comprehensive coverage spread across Hospitalization, Outpatient, Ongoing therapies, Alternative medicine, and transportation costs each sub-section having its own limits of coverage. People with Disabilities, who have at least one of the disabilities listed under the National Trust Act, 1999 with a valid disability certificate are eligible to apply for the scheme. The disabilities range from Autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and various other disabilities.

The enrolment fee for a person who is below the poverty line or whose family income is up to ₹15,000 per month is ₹250. A person who is above poverty line and whose family income is more than ₹15,000 is charged an enrolment fee of ₹500. The Nirmaya scheme is valid till the 31st of March of the financial year in which enrolment is undertaken. Beneficiaries are expected to renew the scheme 3 months prior to expiry to keep it alive.

Adding a layer of protection to our physical health should be second to none! Unfortunately, only a few of us are aware of such government rollouts. Let us educate the uninformed to keep them protected.

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