The Tamil Nadu Government has it made mandatory for patients willing to avail of treatment under the Chief Minister’s Health Insurance Scheme (CMHIS). This rule has come into force since December 15.

Prior to this move, this stipulation was only an option and the hospitals filed the insurance claims after the patient, on being enrolled as a beneficiary of the scheme, was treated and discharged. The new system will streamline the process of disbursing claims under the health insurance scheme with the smart card.

General insurance firm

Hospital Deputy Medical Superintendent Isaac Christian Moses told The Hindu here on Tuesday that United India Insurance Company, the public sector general insurance firm partnering the State Government to implement the scheme, has already begun enrolling patients and issuing the smart cards at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) premises itself. Till now, this process was done only at the Coimbatore Collectorate.

This measure was taken up to ensure that patients eligible for coverage under this flagship scheme of the State Government, received the treatment without any delay. The enrolment stall has been positioned near the Outpatient Ward. This will enable patients, diagnosed with ailments requiring surgery or other complicated treatment, to get enrolled immediately. They have to produce the original Family Card along with an income certificate from the Village Administrative Officer or a Revenue Inspector stating that the applicants’ annual income was less than Rs. 72,000.

P. Swaminathan, the nodal officer at the CMCH for the insurance scheme said that 214 smart cards have been issued since November 15 when the stall was opened at the CMCH

The applicants’ photograph would be taken on the spot and the details of the applicant would be loaded on to the smart card immediately. The applicant would receive the smart card within 20 to 30 minutes.

Further, he said that the entire family of the applicant can be enrolled with the same smart card. Earlier, all the family members were required to carry individual smart cards.

Infrastructure

The CMCH has received Rs. 16 crore under the insurance scheme for treatment provided to 12,403 patients. This money was utilised to upgrade the hospital infrastructure and procure sophisticated equipment besides expensive drugs.

“Some types of cancers require drugs costing more Rs. 12,000 per dose. The CMCH was now purchasing these expensive drugs with the revenue from CMHIS to distribute it free of cost,” he said.

A total of 1,016 diseases were covered under this scheme. Among the procedures to be included recently under this scheme at the CMCH were the cochlear implant and the process of implanting stents for cancer of the oesophagus, Dr. Swaminathan said.