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National Health Insurance Scheme extended to street vendors
The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) - a smart card based cashless health insurance scheme, covering below poverty line families will now be extended to include street vendors who form an important segment of unorganised workers in urban areas.

The Union Cabinet today approved the proposal of the Ministry of Labour & Employment for extension of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) to the Street Vendors. The RSBY scheme, which presently extends to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families (a unit of five) is Smart Card based cashless health insurance scheme.

Street Vendors who form an important segment of unorganised workers in urban areas will now be covered under RSBY. There are approximately 42.19 lakh street vendors (as per Census 2001) in the country. The Government proposes to cover all the registered street vendors under RSBY by the year 2013-14, out of which 4.21 lakh are proposed to be covered in the current financial year. The premium for the insurance scheme will be paid by the Central and State Governments in the ratio of 75: 25 and for the North Eastern States and Jammu and Kashmir, the expenditure is shared in the ratio of 90: 10. The total expenditure on the part of the Central Government during the current year will be around Rs. 20 crore. The recurring expenditure after 2013-14 will be around Rs. 200 crore annually.

Beneficiaries under RSBY are entitled to coverage up to Rs. 30,000/- for most of the diseases that require hospitalization. Coverage extends to five members of the family, which includes the head of the household, spouse and up to three dependents. Till 15.10.2010, 27 States are in the process of Implementation of the Scheme. The scheme has been operationaiized in 24 States and more than 1.95 crore smart cards have been issued covering more than 7 crore persons.

Source: Press Information Bureau