Health insurance is a type of insurance that covers your expenses involved in seeking health care. The concept of health insurance is not new in Pakistan, but the health insurance coverage is quite limited compared to the total population. The low penetration is due to several factors, lack of awareness, the insurance premium, distrust in the insurance companies, issues with claims, limited number of facilities/ diseases covered, limited empanelled hospitals.
Despite the issues with the health insurance, it can be beneficial in case of unexpected medical emergencies and accidents or even chronic conditions that can take a heavy financial toll even on middle class segment of the society. The rising inflation has also led to higher medical cost’s of providing medical care, e.g. CT-scan range from 8-10k minimum in private sector, so to add up all the charges including hospital stay, consultations, procedure and medications, it can be a financial blow if unprepared.
Now coming over to the health reform’s of the current govt. it intends to make medical facilities somewhat autonomous with the aim to self-sustain themselves financially and not be dependent on govt funding. This might lead to end of free for all health care as is currently applicable in the govt facilities, where consultation, hospital charges procedure are free or at a very low cost, irrespective of the financial status of the patient.
As a result of Medical Teaching Institution’s Act, a board of governors will be made in all teaching hospitals, who will decide the polices of the hospital and independently run the institute and also generate its own funds.
In order to reduce or minimize any financial impact on the majority of citizens, the govt. has launched its own health insurance scheme managed by State Life Corporation, the govt will pay the premium and will provide health insurance to the citizens.
The insurance will be in the name of head of a family and this will allow annual health coverage of around Rs. 7 lac for the whole family, in the empanelled hospitals throughout the province.
This way a person can seek health care from any govt or private hospitals too, in case of illness & the expenses will be paid by the insurance company to the hospital govt or private.
It should be noted that details about the diseases / hospitals are covered in the terms of insurance, if somebody goes over the limit or the disease or procedure is not covered he will have to pay for it even in govt hospitals after the Medical reforms act, in order to make hospitals financially self-sustaining.
How to get Free health insurance (Sehat Sahulat card) in Punjab?
Initially the govt planned to distribute health insurance to those living at the poverty line, this segment of population was selected through the national surveys and automatically included in the program.
Now the govt of Punjab has decided on universal health coverage that means all the provice’s population will be covered in the health insurance program free of cost, step wise each month some o the disticts will be covered and by the year-end 2021 the target of the health dept is to cover the whole province. Currently, at the time of writing, Sahiwal and DG khan have been covered in the health insurance program.
Check your eligibility for Sehat Sahulat program
To check your eligibility:
SMS your National Identity Card Number to 8500, to check your eligibility in the program.
Get your Sehat Insaf card / Qaumi Sehat Card
In case you have been declared eligible, you can receive your Sehat Insaf card / Qaumi Sehat Card from the card distribution center developed in your district.