Sulagna Sengupta 
[email protected] 
Kolkata, 11 November
The state Police Directorate (PD) has proposed health insurance coverage be made mandatory for all policemen in the state.   
The move comes after the PD found out that around 8,000 policemen in the state ~ from junior constables to director generals ~ were not covered under any health insurance scheme be it West Bengal health insurance scheme or the medical insurance scheme. 
The proposal was sent to the state Home Department about a week ago for consideration of the Finance Department and the Chief Minister, who holds the Home Department portfolio.  
At present there are around 63,000-odd policemen in the state and it’s optional for the policemen to choose any of the two schemes.  
Under the new proposal an amount of Rs 3,600 will be deducted from the salary of each policeman. An officer should be covered under either of the two schemes. At present, if a policemen is covered under the West Bengal health scheme, an amount of Rs 3,600 is deducted from his/her salary and if a policemen is covered under the medical insurance scheme, Rs 3,200 will be deducted from his/her salary. 
Under the new proposal, the medical insurance scheme will have "no cash" facility and an officer can avail up to Rs 2.5 lakh per year per person for any disease. While for critical diseases, including cardiovascular disease, it amounts to Rs 3.80 lakh per year per person.
Officials added that as health insurance scheme is not compulsory for all officers, most of them do not avail of the facility. It was noticed that during any major accident it becomes difficult for the family of the deceased officer to arrange for funds.
A senior officer of the state Home Department said they have received the proposal and have sent it to the chief minister for her final approval.