Cashless medical facilities in 560 hospitals: Govt

The four PSU insurance firms-National Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Assurance-had in July last year stopped the cashless facility in select private hospitals, alleging over-billing by them

New Delhi: Cashless medical facilities for persons insured with Public sector undertakings (PSUs) are now available in 560 hospitals in four big cities and the network will be expanded to four more cities as well, the Rajya Sabha was informed today, reports PTI.

Presently 560 hospitals are included in the Preferred Provider Network (PPN) in the four cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said.

"It has also been decided to expand the PPN network to other four centres-Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chandigarh," Mr Mukherjee said in written reply.

Insurance companies have a network of hospitals, known as PPN, which offers health insurance services under cashless facility.

The network hospitals are decided through the agreement between the Third Party Administrators (TPAs) and the hospitals and the list is amended from time to time.

The four PSU insurance firms-National Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Assurance-had in July last year stopped the cashless facility in select private hospitals, alleging over-billing by them.

"To minimise inconvenience to the insured, Third Party Administrators (TPAs) have been advised that for emergency and trauma cases, cashless facility should be provided not only at hospitals within PPN, but at other hospitals also," Mr Mukherjee added.

He said the cost ratio for the public sector companies was 140% of the premium received under the health portfolio.

"The mounting losses in this portfolio are a matter of serious concern for them. It was also observed by these companies that some of the hospitals were charging the patients having health insurance policies at rates which are quite higher than the reasonable cost of treatment," Mr Mukherjee added.

As customers were left in a quandary post the suspension of cashless facility, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) in August came out with a circular stating that the policy holders undergoing treatment would continue to get cashless benefit even if the hospital where they are admitted is delisted by insurers from cashless cover.

The regulator has also asked the companies to constantly update policy holders and customers on any change in the list of hospitals offering cashless cover.

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MTS offers deals and discounts on online recharge

MTS deals and discounts have been made available on a variety of products and services

Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd (SSTL), which operates under the brand name MTS, has launched deals and discounts on online recharge for both voice and data customers.

SSTL is a joint venture between Sistema of Russia and the Shyam Group of India.

"Our latest initiative has been specially designed to offer great deals and discounts on a wide variety of products and services," SSTL chief marketing officer Leonid Musatov said in a statement.

These deals and discounts have been made available on a variety of products and services ranging from consumer electronics, travel packages, beauty services, restaurants to apparels and accessories and much more.

Customers recharging with higher denomination, are entitled for a higher discount. Some discounts offered on recharges result in savings even more than the actual recharge denomination. The customers thus get great value for the money spent on their recharge. 

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Reliance Communications launches 3G services in Kashmir

In May 2010, Reliance Communications won 13 key telecom circles during the 3G auction, including the key metros of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata

Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) said it has launched third generation (3G) services in Kashmir.

Last year, in December, RCom launched 3G services in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Punjab, Jammu and Rajasthan, the company said in a statement.

"Launching of 3G capabilities in Kashmir is an integral part of our Vision 2015 of creating a 'Wirefree India' built upon the affordable 3G-for-all platform," RCom's J&K circle head--wireless business, Ataul Haque, said.

In May 2010, RCom won 13 key telecom circles during the 3G auction, including the key metros of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

The company also holds 3G licences in the telecom circles of Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, North East, Jammu & Kashmir, Orissa and Assam.

The company paid about Rs8,585.04 crore to the government for the 3G licences.

RCom has partnered with organisations like Nokia for devices, Facebook, Nokia and Ericsson for applications, Universal Music for content and Motricity for its web portal under its 3G initiative.

On Tuesday, RCom ended 1.49% up at Rs95.10 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.77% to 18,296.16.

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