The Cashless Mediclaim Scheme or the Health Cards that the State government gave to its employees have become a major bone of contention between the stakeholders.

Talks between JAC chairman G. Deviprasad and the principal secretary for Health K.R. Kishore failed on Thursday. This prompted the Andhra Pradesh NGO’s Association West Krishna Branch leaders to state that the old medical re-imbursement scheme with an upper expenditure cap of Rs.2 lakh per annum was better than the new cashless scheme.

According to the old scheme the medical expenditure incurred by the employee was reimbursed to a maximum of Rs.2 lakh. The employees did not have to pay any premium but had to pay the hospital bills initially.

According to the State government calculation in the new classless mediclaim health scheme the annual expenditure for the scheme was Rs. 350 crore. The government would pay 60 per cent and the employees would have to contribute the remaining 40 per cent.

The 14 lakh State government employees would have to pay a premium of Rs 120 a month as their contribution.

A divisive issue

But unfortunately for them the State government refused to remove the cap on the Rs 2 lakh limit.

The employees feel this was counter-productive to them because they were getting re-imbursement of Rs 2 lakh without having to pay any premium in the old scheme. Adding insult to injury the government said that employees would have to get there treatment along with the Rajiv Arogyasri beneficiaries.

Under the scheme the employees had to go to the government Hospitals and the doctors would have to refer patients to a private hospital if the ailment was severe and not treatable there.

The primary demand of the employees is that the Rs 2 lakh cap on expenditure be removed.

Creating facilities separate from those of Arogyasri beneficiaries and access to out-patient facilities in corporate hospitals are also demands that are being made. This was being asked because all government employees including district Collectors were covered under the cashless mediclaim scheme.

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