NITF Provides Insurance Cover For State Employees
Responding to allegations leveled against the National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) classifying it as another loss making government venture, Chairman Senaka Abeygoonasekera recently denied any malpractices, disparity in funds or the possibility of being compared with the Agricultural and Agrarian Insurance Board of Sri Lanka, a debunked state entity.
“As a prominent insurer, which is fully owned by the Treasury, we look after the state employees and their immediate family members through the Agrahara medical insurance plan. Compared with any other insurance company in the island, the NITF is a welfare establishment. For the past five years our monthly premium was set at Rs.75.
“In 2007, the NITF contributed Rs.1.5 billion, in 2009 Rs.2.3 billion and in 2010 Rs. 2 billion to the national budget. In return for these large sums of money given for national use, we take an average Rs. 50 million on a monthly basis to honour claims from 1.3 million members,” Abeygoonasekera said. He also inquired whether any other state entity had given such large amounts of money towards the national budget.
According to Abeygoonasekera, as per the service agreement between the NITF and the Treasury, the latter has to fill in any deficits in terms of Agrahara insurance claims.
“In Agrahara we do not charge exorbitant sums from the insured. For a monthly premium of Rs.75 paid by each member we honour claims up to Rs. 350,000 for heart surgery, hospitalization claims up to Rs.150,000 per annum, in case of accidental death – claims will paid up to Rs. 600,000 and Rs.50,000 in case of natural death. We also pay Rs.100,000 for medication for cancer patients and also provide loan protection cover if our members borrow money from banks. All this is provided for a monthly premium of Rs.75 and no other insurance company in the world can match us,” he explained.
To reduce the deficit and to reach breakeven, the NITF has already submitted a proposal to the government to increase Agrahara monthly premiums by Rs.25 to Rs. 100. This proposal is pending state approval.