Health insurance policies generally cover hospitalisation expenses when a policyholder is admitted to a hospital for at least 24 hour for any treatment. The expenses of visiting a doctor at Out Patient Department (OPD) are mostly covered as an add on service with extra premium. Policies with OPD treatment as a built in coverage are also expensive in comparison to a policy without such cover.
Even if your health insurance policy covers the OPD treatment, another problem you may face now is the closure of most of the services due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Moreover, only very few insurers provide online consultation or e-consultation facilities and that too to policyholders with very high Sum Insured (SI) or higher and costlier versions of health insurance plans.
So, the question is how to see a doctor at this moment of crisis when most OPDs are closed and very few policyholders have access to e-consultation?
To provide benefit to people without health insurance cover or health insurance cover without OPD facility at the time of Covid-19 pandemic, the government has launched a National TeleConsultation Service named eSanjeevaniOPD.
A web-based system that doesn’t require an installation, the eSanjeevaniOPD may be accessed through esanjeevaniopd.in on a laptop or a desktop computer or a full-sized tablet with a camera, microphone and speakers that can run the latest versions of Chrome (Google Chrome version 79 or later) and Firefox (Mozilla Firefox version 75 or later).
The facility may also be used on a smartphone by downloading the Android mobile application from Google Play Store.
For registration, token generation and to send/receive OTPs by SMS, a working mobile phone is also essential.
There are 4 steps involved in teleconsulting a doctor:
- Register on the eSanjeevaniOPD and generate a token number.
- Wait for the SMS notification to log on to eSanjeevaniOPD.
- Join the waiting queue in the Consultation Room and press the Call Now button when enabled.
- Consult the doctor on call and get an instant ePriscription.
Currently, only allopathic doctors are available on eSanjeevaniOPD and every user needs a separate/unique mobile number.
The teleconsultation process on eSanjeevaniOPD is completely free, but the system requirements would keep it out of reach for the poor.