Student insurance program ‘Suraksha’ returns on President’s directive

Tuesday, 21 May 2024 02:16 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Allocates Rs. 2 b in 2024 Budget to revive program from first week of June
  • Insurance will cover around 4.5 m students aged 5-21 in various educational institutions, including special schools
  • Education Ministry will partner with SLIC to implement program ensuring quick benefit delivery via an online platform
  • Coordinated mechanism will oversee program under supervision of State Revenue Unit of Presidential Secretariat

President Ranil Wickremesinghe

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed the resumption of the ‘Suraksha’ student insurance program, set to resume in the first week of June after a temporary suspension due to economic difficulties. 

The initiative, aimed to benefit all school students across the country, was recently approved by the Cabinet through a Joint Cabinet paper presented by President Wickremesinghe, who also serves as the Finance, Economic Stabilisation and National Policy Minister, along with the Education Minister Dr. Susil Premajayantha.

The ‘Suraksha’ program, a collaboration between the Ministry of Education, the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) and the State Revenue Unit of the Presidential Secretariat, was first implemented in 2017 based on a concept by Wickremesinghe during his tenure as Prime Minister. The program’s primary goals are to ensure continuous education for students affected by health issues and to increase school attendance by safeguarding student safety. It was operational till 1 December 2022, when it was halted due to economic constraints.

President Wickremesinghe has allocated Rs. 2,000 million in the 2024 budget to reinstate the ‘Suraksha’ program, reflecting the country’s ongoing economic recovery. This allocation aims to strengthen the program to develop the human resources necessary for a developed Sri Lanka by 2048.

The ‘Suraksha’ student insurance will cover around 4.5 million students aged 5 to 21 in Government, Government-approved private, and private schools (grades one to 13), as well as students aged 4 to 21 in special schools. Additionally, the program will offer life insurance benefits for students from low-income families earning less than Rs. 180,000 annually, including coverage for the death of a parent.

Key benefits of ‘Suraksha’:

1. Health Insurance:

 -Inpatient Treatment Benefits: Up to Rs. 300,000 in Government or private hospitals. Parents will receive Rs. 2,500 per night for Government hospital stays and Rs. 7,500 per night for private hospital stays.

 - Outpatient Treatment Benefit: Up to Rs. 20,000, covering spectacles for pre-existing eye conditions, hearing aids for hearing loss, and laboratory test fees.

 - Critical Illness Benefit: Ranging from Rs. 200,000 to Rs. 1,500,000.

2. Accident Insurance:

 - Total Permanent Disability: Rs. 200,000.

 - Permanent Partial Disability: Ranging from Rs. 150,000 to Rs. 200,000.

 - Temporary Disability: Ranging from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 100,000.

3. Life Insurance:

 - In the event of a parent’s death, students from low-income families will receive Rs. 75,000 per student for one parent, with a maximum of Rs. 225,000 per case (covering up to three children).

The Ministry of Education will formalise an agreement with the SLIC for the implementation of the insurance program. A special system will be established to expedite the provision of benefits to school students, with benefits delivered through the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation’s online platform within one week. Entitled benefit funds will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of the children’s parents.

To ensure the program’s success, Government officials, including school principals and village officers, will establish a coordinated mechanism under the supervision of the State Revenue Unit of the Presidential Secretariat.