Money & Banking

Bank retirees, insurance company spar over mediclaim policy

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on November 27, 2015

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Pensioners demand benefits regular staff get, but insurer says terms of the policy are different



Bank pensioners and retirees have expressed fears over the fate of a medical insurance scheme introduced as part of the 10th bipartite settlement.

The stance of United India Insurance, which is implementing the scheme, has caused a lot of anguish, says the All-India Bank Pensioners’ and Retirees’ Confederation.

SR Sengupta, General Secretary of the Confederation, has written to the Chairman of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) demanding that retirees be granted identical insurance benefits as regular employees “as agreed by the bipartite settlement”.

Advisory to banks

The insurance company has, in its advisory to banks on November 13, gone back on the terms of the policy already agreed upon and to which premium has already been paid by the respective banks, Sengupta said.

But United India Insurance has vehemently contested this. It is not as if a cover already granted is being taken off, top sources in the company told BusinessLine.

The controversy is borne out of inadequate understanding of the policies that apply separately to employees and retired persons.

Different footing

These policies have been devised on a footing different from each other. For instance, employees join as a group and the banks pay the premium.

In the case of retired persons, it is optional for banks to do this.

Some of them probably provide a subsidy to the insured but others don’t. Mostly, the retirees are on their own, and are required to pay the premium individually.

The two covers cannot be compared since they have been different from day one.

And this had been conveyed to the banks and the unions separately. The issue here is that the retirees want the same policy as the regular employees, sources said. Sengupta agreed saying banks could decide on sharing/bearing the premium payable for retirees.

IBA agreements

But the Department of Financial Services wants banks to bear the entire premium for both serving and retired employees, he claimed.

He also said that the company had in presentations made at different centres explained the highlights of the policy for retirees.

These included coverage of pre-existing diseases; no entry age bar; cover for critical illnesses; domiciliary treatment on submission of medical prescription every 90 days; coverage for treatment under all systems of medicines.

The IBA had separately entered into agreements with employees’ unions and officers’ organisations to the effect that an insurance cover similar to that of serving employees would be extended to the retirees as well, Sengupta said.

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Published on November 27, 2015
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