Andaman & Nicobar Islands, with their natural beauty and pristine landscapes, are home to a diverse population. While these islands provide excellent healthcare services to all civilians free of cost, the lack of super-specialist doctors and services often leads to the referral of patients to mainland hospitals. This creates a financial burden, especially for economically disadvantaged individuals. In response to this issue, the Administration introduced the Andaman & Nicobar Islands Scheme for Health Insurance (ANISHI) in 2015. ANISHI aims to provide better healthcare and financial assistance to specific categories of residents, ensuring that no one is left behind in times of medical need.
Key Features of ANISHI:
- Beneficiary Categories: ANISHI primarily targets three beneficiary categories:
- BPL Category Residents: These are individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds residing in the A&N Islands.
- Government Pensioners: Government pensioners living in the A&N Islands, along with their dependent family members.
- Permanent Residents: Permanent residents of these islands with a family income below Rs. 3 lakhs per annum.
- Coverage Limit: ANISHI offers cashless treatment up to Rs. 5 lakhs per patient per illness, encompassing both indoor and outdoor treatments. This coverage provides peace of mind during medical emergencies.
- Travel Expenses: Recognizing the geographical challenges, ANISHI goes the extra mile to support patients and their attendants. It offers free travel expenses for patients with one attendant, covering bunk class fare for those traveling to mainland hospitals.
- Critical Illness Support: In cases where critically ill patients need to travel by flight, ANISHI reimburses the air tickets for the patient and one attendant. This ensures timely access to specialized care when required.
- Emergency Treatment: ANISHI also extends support to beneficiaries who fall ill during personal visits to the mainland, ensuring that emergency treatment is accessible. However, travel expenses in such cases are not covered.
Eligibility Criteria of ANISHI
To qualify for the benefits provided by ANISHI, individuals must meet specific eligibility criteria. The scheme aims to target and assist those who need it the most. Here are the eligibility criteria:
- BPL Category Residents: Individuals must belong to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category and be settled in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
- Government Pensioners: Eligible individuals include government pensioners who have chosen to settle in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. This category extends to their dependent family members as well.
- Permanent Residents: Permanent residents of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands are eligible if their family income is below Rs. 3 lakhs per annum.
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands Scheme for Health Insurance (ANISHI) is a commendable initiative aimed at addressing the healthcare disparities faced by residents of this beautiful archipelago. By providing financial assistance, covering travel expenses, and ensuring access to quality healthcare, ANISHI contributes significantly to the well-being of its beneficiaries.
It stands as a testament to the government’s commitment to the health and welfare of the people, especially those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and government pensioners. ANISHI exemplifies the idea that healthcare should be a right, not a privilege, and that geography should not be a barrier to receiving life-saving medical care.
As we reflect on ANISHI’s journey since its inception in 2015, we can see a brighter and healthier future for the residents of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. With its continued support, the islands are not only preserving their natural wonders but also nurturing the health and happiness of their vibrant communities.
Frequently asked Questions
- Who is eligible for ANISHI?
ANISHI is available to individuals falling into the following categories:
BPL category residents in the A&N Islands.
Government Pensioners in the A&N Islands along with their dependent family members.
Permanent residents of the Islands with a family income below 3 lakhs per annum.
- What benefits does ANISHI provide?
ANISHI offers cashless treatment up to Rupees 5 Lakhs per patient per illness, covering both indoor and outdoor treatments.It also reimburses travel expenses, including bunk class fare for patients with one attendant.Critically ill patients referred under the scheme for air travel are entitled to reimbursement of the air ticket for the patient and one attendant.
- Is there a provision for emergency treatment on the mainland?
Yes, in very rare cases where a beneficiary falls sick during a personal visit to the mainland and requires emergency treatment, benefits under the scheme can be availed of. However, travel expenses will not be covered in such cases.
- How was ANISHI officially announced?
ANISHI was officially announced on India Republic Day in 2015 by the Hon’ble Lt. Governor A&N Islands, Lt. General A.K. Singh, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM (Retd).
- How can eligible individuals apply for ANISHI?
Specific application procedures and eligibility verification processes may be available through official government channels. Interested individuals should contact the relevant authorities or visit official websites for detailed application guidelines.