For the first time in India a group health insurance plan was launched for 250 HIV-infected people. The scheme is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Project Connect, a programme intended to build public-private partnership in the fight against HIV and tuberculosis in India. Population Services International (PSI), an NGO along with Star Health and Allied Insurance Company and the Karnataka Network for Positive People (KNP+) launched the scheme.
The policy is not available to individuals and will be given to a group of about 300. In Karnataka, the policy was given to 250 applicants from six districts — Bellary, Mangalore, Mandya, Udupi, Kolar and Mysore.
According to K Sujatha Rao, director general, National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), efforts were on to work on a policy that could get applicants to start saving for medical treatment.
AIDS patients numbering millions in India have largely been ignored by insurance companies until now.