Aarogyasri Scheme should be extended to APL Senior Citizens
The Government of Andhra Pradesh has introduced an excellent health insurance scheme for all family members in BPL category. Mere possession of Ration Card (White Cards) is enough eligibility. Government pays consolidated insurance premium to Star Health. A network of 360 hospitals has been enlisted for availing treatment. 940 surgical and other procedures, primarily taking care of operations for Kidney, brain, heart, cancer, Burns etc are covered. Accidents coming under Motor Vehicles act are out of scope in this scheme. A large number of Aarogyamithras have been appointed within the easy reach of villagers whom can be approached for information, explanations, help, liaison, complaints etc. The whole system is totally cash less. Just enter the hospital with your Ration Card and special Aarogyasri card, get treated and walk away. Operations costing about 1.5 to 2.0 lakhs are done free to members of BPL category.
The website of the scheme gives a lot of details. For instance on 1st April 2011, we know how the scheme performed: 26000 medical camps were held, 4.4 million persons were screened, 40 lakh were treated, 10 lakh surgeries / procedures performed and about Rs 2920 crores worth claim disbursement (direct payment to hospitals by Insurance Company) was approved. These are cumulative data. We get monthly data also. Now the scheme covers whole of AP. It has won several acclaims and awards. Karnataka has shown interest in replicating it.
Such a wonderful scheme will be a boon to senior citizens. Senior citizens under BPL are automatically already covered. Senior citizens APL (Above poverty line) are worst sufferers when it comes to health. Diseases are more, money available for treatment is less, "no earnings except meager pensions" are some problems faced by this group. Moreover most Health insurance schemes have become unaffordable to most senior citizens. Above a certain age (when they need it most) senior citizens are simply denied any Medical / Health insurance at all. After 85 one can not get any insurance extended.
Aarogyasri should be extended to Senior Citizens in APL – Above Poverty Line category too. They may be asked to pay the premiums themselves. The premium is likely to be very affordable as large numbers are involved. This will be a great boon to the silently suffering community. An authenticated, verified Voters List could form the basis for negotiating with the Insurer. Voters ID card or Aadhar card may be used for gaining access to the facilities.
I wish some political parties include this in their agenda for the coming elections. They will gain the sympathy and support of senior citizens. After all senior citizens constitute more than 8% of the population. Some states like Tamilnadu and Pudhucherry have already started recognizing Senior Citizens as a part of Vote Bank.Dr P Vyasamoorthy, 30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph 040-27846631 / 9490804278.My blog: http://vyasa-kaaranam-ketkadey.blogspot.com/