The botched transition to new health insurance cards following a new law effective last October has left many Hanoian health insurance holders without access to benefits.
New health insurance cards are required by the new law, which changes co-pay rates policy holders must pay at hospitals, however, not all patients have received their new cards.
Nguyen Ngoc Hien, vice director of Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, said that although the Health Ministry allowed patients with old unexpired cards to enjoy the same benefits as those with new cards, hospitals were already using new software that only recognized new card codes
According to Hien, hospitals switched to the new software following a Hanoi Social Insurance announcement that all old health insurance cards would be invalidated after January 1. Hanoi Social Insurance is the capital’s sole health insurance provider.
“Under the ministry’s instructions, the hospital will have to create temporary codes for patients with old cards, which will be very complicated and need the cooperation and approval of the social insurance agency,” Hien said.
Tran Quy Tuong, deputy head of the ministry’s Department of Examination and Treatment Management, said many Hanoi hospitals were facing problems relating to the new health insurance cards.
Local agencies will meet and launch an investigation to work out the problems, he said, adding that similar situations had been reported in other parts of the country.
Le Van Lich, director of Da Nang City Social Insurance, said many localities and schools were also yet to grant new cards to health insurance holders.
Source: Thanh Nien, Tuoi Tre