The Tamil Nadu government recently launched a medical health insurance scheme for state government employees. Chief Minister M Karunanidhi handed over the first ten identity cards to beneficiaries at the Secretariat here. According to an official press release, Tamil Nadu is the first state in India to implement such a scheme, where both the individual as well as the government contributed towards the premium amount. The state government has tied up with the private Star Health and Allied Insurance in this regard. As per the scheme, a Government employee opting for it as well as his dependents can avail up to Rs two lakh towards medical expenses for four years by paying an annual premium of INR 495, the release said. While the employee would pay an annual sum of INR 300, the Government would bear the rest and also the 12.5 per cent service tax, the release said. A sum of INR 25 would be deducted from the monthly salary of an employee enrolling in the scheme. The beneficiaries can avail medical services, including surgeries, in 52 hospitals across the state. A high-level committee besides local committees has been formed to look into complaints and grievances of the beneficiaries regarding the scheme, the release said, adding eight lakh government employees have applied for availing the scheme.