Obligations of Insurers towards ASHA and MGNREGA workers Notified by IRDAI
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), on 11.03.2021, has notified the obligations of Insurers towards ASHA and MGNREGA workers. The same was notified through the Notification No IRDAI/ Life/ MISC/ Cir/ 046 / 03/ 2021. Also, it shall be noted that the said IRDAI notification has come into effect on an immediate basis, i.e., from 11.03.2021.
In this learning blog, we will talk about the concept of IRDAI, the ASHA community and MGNREGA scheme, and the key obligations of insurers towards ASHA and MGNREGA workers.
Concept of IRDAI
The abbreviated term IRDAI stands for Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. It is an autonomous statutory body that regulates and administers the insurance companies in India. Further, both Life Insurance and General Insurance Companies are administered by IIRDAI.
The main aim of the body is to protect the interest of people and to regulate activities, and facilitate the development of the insurance sector.
Also, it shall be taken into consideration that not only the insurance companies but insurance web aggregator and insurance broker also need to acquire registration from IRDAI for commencing their operations and activities in India.
Concept of ASHA Community
The term ASHA stands for Accredited Social Health Activists is a community of health workers, which is instituted by the Central Government under the (MoHFW) Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as a part of the NRHM (National Rural Health Mission).
Further, it shall be noted that ASHA workers are trained and skilled women who need to act as health educators and promoters in their respective communities. The key tasks of these workers are as follows:
- To motivate women to go to hospitals for their deliveries;
- To bring children to the immunization clinics;
- To encourage family planning;
- To treat basic injury and illness with first aid;
- To keep demographic records;
- To improve village sanitation, etc.;
Therefore, ASHAs are often termed as a key communication between the healthcare mechanism and rural populations.
Concept of MGNREGA Scheme
The abbreviated MGNREGA stands for the Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which aims to provide a legal guarantee for 100 days of employment to adult members in every financial year. Further, such adult members belong to rural households willing to do public work concerning unskilled manual work at a statutory minimum wage.
Also, the same purposes to improve the purchasing power of the rural people, predominantly semi or unskilled work to the people who are living below the poverty line in rural India.
Further, the MRD (Ministry of Rural Development) has the power to monitor the complete implementation of the said scheme in association with the state governments.
Key Obligations of Insurers towards ASHA and MGNREGA Workers
The IRDAI has received various requests and applications for clarification that as to whether the policies granted to the people under the occupations of MGNREGA and ASHA workers can be considered for the “social sector” for the compliance with the obligations provided under the IRDAI (Obligations of Insurers to Rural & Social sectors) Regulations 2015.
After due consideration on the requests received, it is explained under the provisions of Rule 7 of the IRDAI (Obligations of Insurers to Rural & Social sectors) Regulations 2015 that the ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers and the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) workers can be considered under the Rural and Social Sector category.
In a nutshell, the IRDAI, by way of Notification No IRDAI/ Life/ MISC/ Cir/ 046 / 03/ 2021 on 11.03.2021, has notified the obligations of Insurers towards ASHA and MGNREGA workers. That means from now onwards, ASHA and MGNREGA worker will be considered under the rural and social category. Also, the said notification has been implemented on an immediate basis, i.e., 11.03.2021.
Read our article:What Role Does IRDA Play in the Development of Insurance Sector?Clarification-regarding-workers-of-ASHA-and-MGNREGA-11032021-1