Golam Mostafa Jibon: The government initiative taken to bring Autism and Neuro-Developmental Disabilities (NDD) under insurance facilities to address the health and life risk issues on July in 2019, is yet to see the ray of hope on the plea of corona pandemic.
Almost two years have already passed, but it has not yet been seen the light of day.
According to the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA), the insurance regulator, the insurance scheme has not yet been launched due to the corona outbreak. The Ministry of Social Welfare, the Department of Financial Institutions, the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority and the General Insurance Corporation are working to implement the Neuro-Developmental Disability Health Insurance Project as a pilot project. However, the activities of the project have been disrupted due to Corona, IDRA officials said.
It is to be mentioned that, there is no accurate information on the number of disabled people in the country till present period. However, a survey conducted under the Disability Identification Program of the Ministry of Social Welfare in 2019 revealed that, the number of persons with disabilities identified in the country was 16,65,708.
In the interest of the Neuro-Developmental Disability Protection Trust under the Ministry of Social Welfare, an initiative has been taken to bring the people with autism and neuro-developmental disabilities (NDDs) under insurance as a part of addressing the health and life risk to this huge population.
IDRA also prepared a working paper in this regard in 2019.
Its revealed that, new insurance plans can be made to improve the quality of life of people with autism and neuro-developmental disabilities, to protect their risk. Usually insurance plans are different for life and non-life. In this case, the insurance scheme may be separate for life and non-life or such insurance schemes may be life and non-life composite.
It also raises issues such as who is at risk for the disabled, who will be insured, who will receive the insurance benefits, how long the insurance scheme will be continued, where the insurance company is at risk, the birth rate of an autistic child, how long do such disabled people have to take treatment, how long do those, who are currently undergoing treatment need to take treatment, all those issues need to be clarified.
Besides, the issue of government subsidy or cooperation in this sector is also mentioned.
According to IDRA sources, a technical committee was formed to launch the insurance scheme after the worksheet was prepared. A comprehensive health insurance scheme for neuro-developmental disabilities was prepared in coordination with the technical committee member and actuary Mohammad Sohrab Uddin.
At the same time, the government organization General Insurance Corporation was given the responsibility to implement the project in the form of a pilot. But the General Insurance Corporation has not yet implemented the project in pilot form.
For this reason, IDRA has recently sent a letter to the General Insurance Corporation.
The letter said that, the Health Insurance Scheme for Neuro-Developmental Disabilities has already been prepared by IDRA and sent to the Ministry of Social Welfare for implementation. The project will be marketed experimentally in the next one year. At the end of the marketing, the profit, premium rate and management cost of the project will be re-checked and added or subtracted.
The letter also called for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the General Insurance Corporation and the Ministry of Social Welfare to implement the Health Insurance Scheme for Neuro-Developmental Disabilities. At the same time, it has been asked to take initiative to implement the project experimentally within a month.
Meanwhile, IDRA has decided to send a letter to the Ministry of Social Welfare to form a six-member implementation and supervision committee under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Welfare to implement the Health Insurance Scheme for Neuro-Developmental Disabilities.
The committee will include representatives from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Financial Institutions Department, IDRA, Neuro-Developmental Disability (NDD) Protection Trust, General Insurance Corporation and one or two other non-life companies.
SM Shakil Akhtar, spokesperson and executive director of IDRA said, “We have taken up the health insurance scheme for neuro-developmental disabilities as a pilot project. The project has not yet been launched due to the Corona outbreak. If there was not outbreak of corona in the country, the project launching would easily. Even then, all sorts of steps are being taken to launch the project quickly.
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