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Benazir Income Support Programme to expand insurance coverage to its beneficiaries

Islamabad, April 17, 2014 (PPI-OT): Building on the success of Waseela-e-Sehet initiative of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in the initial phases, the insurance coverage to the beneficiaries will be expanded.

Waseela-e-Sehet is one of the major initiatives of BISP with a potential for major impact on country’s Social Protection Programme and the poverty alleviation strategy of the Government of Pakistan. Waseela-e-Sehet comprises of Group Life Insurance and Health Insurance coverage for the BISP beneficiary families.

The pilot phase of Health Insurance was launched in Faisalabad district in April 2012 and approximately fifty nine thousand beneficiary families (covering 400,000 people) were enrolled in the programme while eight hospitals in the district were empanelled. In the two years, around ten thousand patients have utilized this facility, while 2600 patients have been admitted to the hospitals, out of which 1600 were medical cases, 1000 were surgical patients and majority were related to maternal and child health care services. The programme is thus directly contributing to attainment of Millennium Development Goals related to child and maternal health.

Group Life Insurance was started to cover the breadwinners of BISP beneficiary families and a total of 4.1 million breadwinners were enrolled throughout the country. Around fifteen thousand deaths have been reported so far and more than nine thousand families have been paid Rs. 100,000 each to Next of Kin by SLIC through bank account after the deaths of their breadwinners. The remaining cases are under process and will soon be cleared by the Insurance agency (SLIC).

For both Health and Life Insurance, BISP hired the services of a nationally active insurance company, State Life Insurance Corporation (SLIC). The premium paid to SLIC has been protected through creation of Consolidated Claim Reserve Account (CCRA) in case of life insurance and Equalization Reserve Fund (ERF) with the provision of claw back approach in case of health insurance to safeguard unutilized premium amount.

CCRA allows SLIC to invest premium contribution and profit is owned by BISP, available for adjustment of future claim liability/financial sustainability. For the year 2013, Rs. 130 million were deposited in CCRA account of BISP.

The Waseela-e-Sehet initiative of BISP has been very successful in cushioning the negative effects of expenditures related to health and economic crises because of deaths of breadwinner of the poorest of the poor beneficiary families of BISP.

BISP is aiming for establishing an effective Social Safety Net for its beneficiaries and Waseela-e-Sehet is a major step in this regard. The initial success has been appreciated nationally as well as by the international community, including donor and lending agencies. BISP will expand this initiative in phases with the help from its national as well as international partners.

For more information, contact:
Shafquat Ali
Assistant Media Officer.
Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) – Sindh
Cell: +92333 239 4466
Tel: 021-99251510

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