Govt To Expand Low-Cost Health Cover To Another 10 Crore Families
The Indian govt is going to expand its low-cost health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat, to benefit around 50 crore people & increase the coverage for 70% of Indians.
The Ayushman Bharat — Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) is a government initiative that aims to improve access to healthcare for all Indians, including those in middle-class households.
The Niti Aayog is reportedly investigating various models and the feasibility of such a move.
It is believed to have looked for information on the many health insurance programs offered by various ministries to determine how to expand the flagship program’s coverage in a financially viable way.
It is believed that discussions with insurance firms have also taken place to determine their interest in such a program expansion and the requirement for any financial help.
The program might be expanded to an additional 100 million or more households for a little charge, following the format of the government’s most prominent accident and life insurance programs. For this concept, insurance companies would be contacted.
The AB-PMJAY currently provides 107 million impoverished households with free health coverage of 5 lakh per year.
The socio-economic caste census (SECC) 2011 is used to identify the households based on specific occupational and deprivation criteria in rural and urban areas, respectively.
Up until November 22, 2022, 42 million beneficiaries of the scheme, which was introduced in September 2018, will have received free hospitalization benefits totaling 48,500 crore.
Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, a division of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, offers formal sector workers health insurance and medical services through its hospitals up to a monthly salary cap of $21,000. About 31 million insured people are covered by it.
Additionally, several state governments manage their own health insurance programs.
Even while there had previously been debates about expanding the program to the missing middle class, the decision becomes more significant as we approach the General Elections in 2024. It may be announced in the upcoming months, according to sources.
In a report from October 2021 titled “Health Insurance for India’s Missing Middle,” Niti Aayog had previously noted that over 400 million people, or 30% of the population, still do not have any type of financial security for their health. The bottom 50% of the population, or roughly 700 million people, are covered completely under the Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) and state government extension programs, it had been stated.
It had brought attention to the requirement for creating a reasonably priced, all-inclusive health insurance solution for the underserved middle class. The government’s ability to partially finance or offer health insurance was another of its ideas. It can either use the PMJAY infrastructure to offer the option of contributory enrolment or expand PMJAY coverage to include the poorest swaths of the missing middle population.