Cashless medical facilities restored in 449 hospitals: Govt

New Delhi: Cashless medical facilities for persons insured with public sector units (PSU) companies have been restored in 449 hospitals in four big cities after hospitals have agreed to charge them at par with non-insured patients, reports PTI.

Replying to a Calling Attention on the issue in the Rajya Sabha, minister of state for finance Namo Narayan Meena said public sector insurance companies had to resort to rationalisation of rates for cashless facilities as they suffered a loss of Rs2,000 crore because of overcharging by hospitals in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore.

He said if the hospitals were allowed to overcharge, it could result in "serious consequences" leading to insolvency of the insurance companies.

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

Citing an example, he said while the private hospitals were billing Rs1.35 lakh from an insured for a caesarean operation, the rate was Rs55,000 for uninsured and the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) rate was only Rs15,000.

While the standard health insurance policy did not provide any assurance of cashless facilities, it was agreed to extend such a facility through a network of hospitals in some cases, he said.

In the four cities, which accounted for over 50% of the malpractices and had led to the problem, a preferred provider network (PPN) of hospitals has agreed to provide the cashless facilities at the rates equal to those paid by non-insured patients, he said.

The four PSU insurance firms-National Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Assurance-had last month stopped the cashless facility in private hospitals, including the expensive ones known as 5-star hospitals.

However, through mutual consultation a broad agreement has been reached between 449 hospitals and insurance companies.

"More hospitals are joining (the PPN)", the minister said adding the problem was limited to the four cities where rationalisation was underway. For rest of the country, the cashless facility was available like in the past, he said.

Earlier, members said patients should not suffer because of overcharging by hospitals and some cases of manipulation.

S S Ahluwalia (BJP) said there was no standardisation of rates. "The government was leaving the people at the mercy of hospitals," he said.

T Siva (DMK) demanded that the cashless facility should be available in all hospitals. Syed Azeez Pasha (CPI), E M Sudarshana Natchiappan (Cong) and Moinul Hasan (CPI-M) also expressed similar concern.


One year later, some Osian fund investors still await first tranche of their money

The fund’s head admits that there have been some bottlenecks in release of complete payments, but is confident that all investors will be paid in full

Even after a period of one year, there are still some investors who await their first tranche repayments for investments made in the Osian Art Fund. The first week of September is now the new date for payment.

"There are still a handful of investors awaiting their first tranche. We are in constant dialogue with them and finally hope to complete payment by the first week of September," Neville Tuli, chief advisor, Osian Art Fund, told Moneylife.

There are at least eight investors that Moneylife knows of, who have not received the first tranche of payments.

While the first week of September 2010 is the new date for the first tranche of payments, those awaiting their remaining payments will have to wait longer.

"Thereafter (after the payment of the first tranche) the second tranche redemption will occur. It has been a most difficult process but finally everyone will be paid in full," said Mr Tuli.

This is very much in contradiction to what Mr Tuli said at the launch of his art market journal last month. "Expectations in 2006 were naturally altered post-2008 for all investments - not just art. The first tranche of repayment to the unit-holders is complete. The second tranche will be completed by 20 July 2010," the website quoted him as saying last month.

The Osian Art Fund was a 36-month close-ended scheme launched in July 2006. It made a quiet exit and at that time company officials claimed the returns to be around 5% per annum. As ambiguity on the final net asset value continues, the investor is clueless about what the exact total redemption amount would be. As of July 2006, the fund's total corpus was Rs102.40 crore and it had 656 unit-holders across 39 cities.

Moneylife first reported on this fund last year on how it had failed to meet investor expectations with a mere 5% return. (See:

However, more issues related to the fund surfaced with investor complaints on delay in payments (

Subsequently, some investors were lucky to at least receive part payments of their total investment in the fund. ( However, some still wait to receive even a single rupee of the huge investments they had made in the fund.

Investors are now helpless as the fund was not even regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) or any other regulatory body. (See:


Personal finance Tuesday

Reliance MF revises exit load under Reliance Quant Plus Fund

Reliance Mutual Fund has revised the exit load structure under the retail and institutional plan of Reliance Quant Plus Fund. As per the revision, the exit load charge will be 1% of the applicable net asset value (NAV) if redeemed or switched out on or before completion of one year from the date of allotment of units. There shall be no exit load after completion of one year from the date of allotment of units.

The change in exit load shall be applicable on a prospective basis to all the transactions including systematic investment plan (SIP) and systematic transfer plan (STP) where registrations/enrollments have been done on or after effective date. Reliance Quant Plus Fund is an open-ended equity scheme with the investment objective to generate capital appreciation through investment in equity and equity related instruments.

Tata MF declares dividend under Tata Life Sciences & Technology Fund

Tata Mutual Fund has announced the declaration of dividend under the dividend option of Tata Life Sciences & Technology Fund. The record date is 20 August 2010. The face value of each unit is Rs10. The quantum of dividend will be Rs2 per unit as on the record date. Tata Life Sciences & Technology Fund is an open-ended equity fund. The investment objective of the scheme is to provide income distribution and/or medium to long term capital gains while at all times emphasising the importance of capital appreciation.

Kotak Mahindra Bank introduces Stock Ace

Kotak Mahindra Bank has introduced a new product called Stock Ace. Kotak Stock Ace provides individual customers the power of instant liquidity. It is an overdraft facility provided to the customers against their investments in marketable securities like equity shares, mutual funds, etc which are approved for lending by the bank. The Stock Ace is available to the customers through a current account. The facility ensures that the customers are charged interest only on utilised funds. Tenure of this facility can vary from a month to 36 months and can be renewed yearly.

Kotak Mahindra Bank hikes lending rates by 0.25%

Kotak Mahindra Bank has revised its lending rates upwards by 0.25%. Earlier, the bank lending rate was 15.75% which has now been increased to 16% with immediate effect. The bank has also increased its fixed deposit rates by a similar percentage point in various retail buckets up to one year.

ICICI Bank increases lending rates by 0.50%

ICICI Bank has increased its prime lending rate by 0.50% with effect from 18 August 2010. The revised rate will be 16.25% per annum as against 15.75% per annum at present. The bank has also increased its floating reference rate (FRR) by 0.50% for consumer loans including home loans. The revised FRR will be 13.25% per annum as against 12.75% at present. The fixed rate customers will not be impacted by the above increase and their contracted rates will remain unchanged.


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