2020-04-12 18:21:15 BdST

Frontline workers likely to get free insurance from this week 


Free health and life insurance for public officials at the forefront of the battle against Covid-19 is likely to be finalised this week, according to finance ministry officials. 

The Ministry of Finance, the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) and the state-owned Jiban Bima Corporation have held a series of meetings to float the insurance product, which was recently ordered by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. 

"Jiban Bima Corporation, as a state-owned insurer, will provide insurance services," said Md Zafar Iqbal, additional secretary at the Financial Institutions Division under the finance ministry. 

He expects that insurance support will be finalised and provided to frontline workers by this week.

Dr Mosharraf Hossain, member of the IDRA, said there had been several meetings on the issue – both online and offline – and that the insurance is "on the way."

As the plan and process is yet to be finalised, none of them agreed to reveal further details right now.

However, sources at the concerned offices informed media about what is on the table. 

The officials said that all medical workers of the government, members of law enforcement agencies, and other government departments that are working at the frontline to tackle the pandemic, will avail the insurance. 

An initial central estimate suggests that 4.3 lakh government employees may avail the insurance support – which will incur a premium expense of around Tk500 crore. 

The relevant departments such as health, police, army, administration, relief, food and some others have been requested to submit lists containing names and details of their frontline workers. 

The departments are likely to pay the premium, and the final number of insured employees may vary. 

Initially, the coverage has been planned for three months with a scope for renewal. But now the insurance industry is preparing an actuary-designed product for one year. 

The initial plan has classified the potential insured state employees in three categories based on their employment grades:"A" category insurance for first-class officials; "B" category for second and third-class employees; and "C" category insurance for fourth-class employees. 

Health insurance coverage will respectively be Tk5 lakh, Tk7.5 lakh and Tk10 lakh for category A,B and C. The life policy will cover five times the sum of the health insurance support. 

Each listed coronavirus fighter will get the health insurance claim in case of novel coronavirus infection and their nominee will receive the sum of the life insurance policy in case of his or her death from the virus.

Health professionals and staff will be under full life insurance coverage in case of any other on-duty accidents during the pandemic. 

Another meeting is supposed to be held on Sunday to further discuss the matter.  

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