Following discussions and debates over the National Health Insurance Scheme as announced in the Budget Speech, Star Health’s Rs 3 lakh medical insurance offering for children with autism has led to much discussion among parental groups and experts. Though the Union ministry for social welfare has an insurance scheme called the Niramaya Scheme that offers Rs 1 lakh to children with special needs, including autism, the company’s is the first dedicated scheme in India for autistic children. Autism is a neurological disorder that roughly affects 1 in every 68 children and is characterized by developmental delays and poor communication skills. Children are typically diagnosed with the condition between 2 and 3 years of age, and require intensive daily help in the form of speech, physio and behavioural therapies that could cumulatively cost over Rs 1,000 daily.
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