About 14 lakh government employees and pensioners in Andhra Pradesh, who are facing the perils of bifurcation over Telangana, have a common reason to smile. They are all going to get health cards that would give them cashless treatment in hospitals.

Employees of local bodies too will be covered in the scheme. Their family members too will be insured in the new scheme Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy announced here on Sunday. The State Government would allocate Rs 400 crore annually for the scheme. In all, 70 lakh people will benefit.

About 1,885 procedures will be covered under the scheme, both in private as well as government hospitals across the State. The employees and pensioners would get Employee Health Cards (EHC), which, the Government claims, would provide for easy, hassle-free treatment.

While the Government pays 60 per cent of the premium, employees and pensioners will pay the remaining . Monthly contribution from the employees and pensioners will be Rs 90 for slabs A and B and Rs 120 for Slab C, depending on pay scales.

Though there is a scheme in vogue where employees are eligible for reimbursement of Rs 2 lakh for medical emergencies, the new scheme would bring in all the family members under the scheme. Also, the Rs 2 lakh-bar too is almost removed.

They can go to any of the empanelled hospitals in the public and private sectors.

Review

“We will review the scheme after six months and fine-tune it after reviewing the feedback. If need be, we will add additional ‘treatments’ to the list,” Reddy said.

The Government employees have been demanding a health insurance scheme on the lines of Arogyasri, the public funded universal insurance scheme for the poor and lower middle class people.

The Chief Minister held a review meeting with Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy and Chief Secretary P. K. Mohanty, a Government release said here.

The Arogyasri Healthcare Trust will implement the Scheme. A Steering Committee headed by the Chief Secretary will monitor the scheme.

kurmanath.kanchi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 3, 2013)
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