PM Narendra Modi may announce Ayushman Bharat scheme on August 15

Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families providing coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation. 

PM Narendra Modi may announce Ayushman Bharat scheme on August 15
PM Modi reviews the preparations for launch of Ayushman Bharat scheme in New Delhi on May 7, 2018 (Pic courtesy: IANS)

Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may announce the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, National Health Protection plan, on August 15, 2018, from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Sources close to the development informed Zee Business's Anurag Shah that the Ayushman Bharat scheme will be announced by the PM during the 71st Independence speech on August 15.

According to a senior insurance official “ all government insurance companies have been asked to prepare for the launch of the scheme” and PM will launch the scheme on 15th August. There are concerns related to the premium that will be paid under the scheme and the insurance companies have requested the government to raise the premium amount for those who will take the benefits of the scheme. 

The companies have said that the premium amount that stands nearby Rs 1000 is to less and have requested to raise the amount between Rs 2000 and Rs 2500. 

Earlier on Monday (May 7, 2018), PM Modi had reviewed the progress of preparations towards the launch of the ambitious programme under Ayushman Bharat. Senior official had said “Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Punjab are the states that have questioned the scheme” 

The expenditure incurred in premium payment will be shared between Central and state governments in a specified ratio of 60:40. 

The first 'Health and Wellness Centre' under Ayushman Bharat was inaugurated in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district on April 14, 2018, on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti, by PM Modi. 

Many states are already running their health insurance schemes like Aarogyasri in Andhra Pradesh, Mukhyamantri Swasthya Bima Yojana in Jharkhand and Uttarakhand, Biju Krushak Kalyan Yojana in Odisha and Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme in Kerala. Whether the states would continue to run these programs or adopt Ayushman Bharat, is not clear yet. 

The scheme seems highly beneficial as it is a step towards achieving equal rights to healthcare for citizens. It is bound to generate employment and economically empower various sections of the society. The package rates decided by the government for private hospitals would assist in keeping the costs low.  

About Ayushman Bharat: 

Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation. During Union Budget 2018-19, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley mentioned a new program due for implementation called ‘Ayushman Bharat Yojana’, which will be officially adopted on August 15, 2018.

This scheme is a collection of two major health schemes, namely, Health and Wellness Centers Establishment and National Health Protection Scheme. As of now primacy health services in India provide maternal health services, newborn, child health and support to priority communicable diseases only that amounts only 15% of our needs But under the Ayushman Bharat protection against non-communicable diseases will also be provided and it will make a huge difference to the Indian healthcare industry.

National Health Protection Mission will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes - Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).

Ayushman Bharat will have a defined benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.

Ayushman Bharat will be an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 database.

(Reporting by - Anurag Shah)

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