Comprehensive Health Insurance Agency of Kerala (CHIAK) – Aims and Benefits

What is Comprehensive Health Insurance Agency of Kerala (CHIAK)? What are the aims and benefits of Comprehensive Health Insurance Agency of Kerala (CHIAK)? Through this article a complete run is made on the Nodal Agency which had been constituted to implement the RSBY-CHIS health insurance schemes in Kerala.

People around the world are much concerned about their life and so do give much preference to take the advantage of insuring individually and the family as a whole. In view of the number of studies related to the health security of people who are involved in risky works. As these people are paid less, it would be a herculean task for them to pay for their medical need as private hospitals will not provide any subsidiary or support. There are a large number of people who have spent their life in factories or as other informal sector workers. These people would not be in a condition to bear the cost of medical treatment. Even they have to borrow money or might have to sell their assets to pay the money for their treatment.

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY)

In view of the concerns of a large number of people, the Government of India had come forward with few Health Insurance Schemes which will give quality medical care and provide financial cover for millions who cannot afford high medical expenses. The health insurance scheme named as Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) will give an annual insurance cover of Rs. 30,000 for a family. Under the RSBY scheme, the government will manage to meet 75% of the premium and also the cost of the Smart Card. The beneficiaries will have to pay an annual registration charge of Rs 30 per family while the state government will have to bear the rest of the premium. The Kerala government got sanction to implement the scheme in all districts in 2008-2009.

Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS)

In addition to Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), the government of Kerala decided to introduce a scheme which would be beneficial for those poor families who would not fall under the RSBY scheme. In the 2008-09 budget itself, the minister of finance announced a health insurance scheme named Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) which would be gainful for those who come under the non-RSBY populace. As per this scheme, the beneficiaries who belong to the BPL category should have to pay Rs 30 per annum and the state government will meet the remaining expenses. While those belonging to the APL category would have to pay the full premium which includes the cost of the 'smart card'. This scheme has been launched in 14 districts of the state.

Comprehensive Health Insurance Agency of Kerala (CHIAK) is the Nodal Agency constituted to identity and implement the RSBY-CHIS health insurance schemes for the welfare of the workers in Kerala.

Benefits of Comprehensive Health Insurance Agency of Kerala (CHIAK)

1. Medical care of Rs.30, 000 annually for those families which can be benefitted from any of the networking hospitals.
2. Coverage of health services related to surgical nature
3. Pre-existing conditions or diseases will be covered under this scheme except few
4. Transport allowance of Rs 100 per each visit(Annually Rs.1000)
5. Pre and post hospitalization will be provided which includes 1 day prior to hospitalization and up to 5 days from the day of discharge from the hospital

Aims of Comprehensive Health Insurance Agency of Kerala (CHIAK)

1. To provide health care for those families which come under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana'(RSBY).
2. To provide health insurance cover for those who fall under the 'Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme' (CHIS).
3. To identify and implement policies aimed at the welfare of the workers in Kerala.
4. Implement policies and schemes giving medical care and health care security for poor people.
5. To co-ordinate those departments under the government for implementing projects for the welfare of the workers.
6. Conduct various training programmes, workshops and seminars to make the people aware about the various schemes implemented by the government.

The Comprehensive Health Insurance Agency Kerala (CHIAK) is now also executed through various Akshaya centres which are in charge of distributing the application forms in the state. CHIAK has been implemented in the state in association with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). It is known that around 7.5 lakh people are now the beneficiaries in Kerala. Recently, M K Raghavan a congress MP from Kerala has raised his voice in the parliament which sought comprehensive health insurance for every Indian. Shibu Baby John, the Minister of Labour in Kerala is the ex-officio chairman of Chiak. After taking charge as minister, Shibu Baby John had taken much interest to study the RSBY-CHIS programme and have insisted to extend the CHIS PLUS scheme adding more features.

Kerala is a pioneer state which had implemented the RSBY scheme titled as "Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) providing care for cardiology, oncology and nephrology patients.

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