The absence of an identity card for the new health insurance scheme for State government employees has allegedly put most beneficiaries to hardship.
With a number of private hospitals not willing to acknowledge the policy, many members of government staff have termed the new policy a failure.
The new health insurance scheme was introduced by the AIADMK government after scrapping the earlier Star insurance scheme which covered medical expenses upto Rs. 2 lakh for government employees through a monthly deposit of Rs. 25.
“The old policy, which had an ID card for the beneficiary, was scraped and from April 2012, a sum of Rs. 150 is being deducted every month from our salary. But we have not been given an ID card which we could use in case of treatment or surgery at a private hospital,” said a head constable attached to a police station in North Chennai.
He is not the only affected person as the scheme has left most government employees, including police personnel and staff members of Chennai Corporation and Metrowater, in the lurch.
“The money is being promptly deducted but the scheme did not come in handy when I had a surgery on my leg recently. I had to pay all the expenses out of my pocket,” said a Chennai Metrowater employee.
The premium for the new scheme, under which the government staff member and his immediate family are eligible, is Rs. 4 lakh. But an ID card for policy holders has not been issued months after the policy was introduced in spite of money being collected from employees.
Most beneficiaries say that the monthly deduction of Rs. 150 is unfair considering it is for a health policy that does not include a valid certificate or beneficiary code number which can be used for a medical reimbursement.
“The health policy seems to be a failure as many beneficiaries have been turned away by most private hospitals stating that the health policy is not valid. Some hospitals have demanded beneficiaries bring letters from their respective department heads that often take days to get,” said a senior government official.
Government officials dealing with the new health insurance scheme were unwilling to comment.
However, on condition of anonymity, a Chennai Corporation official said that a proposal for issuing ID cards for all their employees who are policy holders had been sent recently.