Govt to roll out health cover scheme from next fiscal: Arun Jaitley

03 February, 2018, 03:38 | Author: Hope Soto
  • Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s Union Budget 2018 has made attempts to address the problem the MSME sector has been facing for quite a long time

Union health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda on Friday said finance would "never be a problem" for the proposed National Health Protection Scheme that seeks to provide a Rs 5-lakh cover per family per year, amid concerns among some health analysts about its bill. The Centre will bear 60 per cent of the expenditure, the rest will be borne by the respective states, said Mr Kant, adding that the premium per family would work out to be Rs 1,100.

All the poor people identified by the the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 will be eligible for the scheme, Kumar said, adding that it will be linked to Aadhar but will not be a mandatory condition for availing the benefit.

In terms of implementation, the NITI Aayog said either a trust mode or insurance company mode will be adopted. Jaitley said his Government has made a decision to take health protection to a "more aspirational level" and observed that several State Governments have also implemented or supplemented health protection schemes with varying coverage plans. "It's not on reimbursement model because too many complaints come on the reimbursement model".

Similar to Obama Care Scheme World's largest govt-funded health programme - "National Health Protection Scheme" was declared. "More than 20 states are already implementing the health-protection scheme, some of them are topping up the RSBY to increase the cover to about Rs 2 lakh", an official said.

Asked who will pay the premium for the scheme, Nadda said "The government will pay for the premium with state's share".

In the first year, the burden on the Centre is likely to be around Rs 3,000 crore.

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Asked about an earlier scheme where the government had announced a Rs 1-lakh coverage, Nadda said that under that programme, there were only four crore beneficiaries, whose number has been enhanced now.

It further stated that the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, a government-run health insurance programme for the poor, will be subsumed under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

On Thursday, Jaitley in the Budget speech said, "We are all aware that lakhs of families in our country have to borrow or sell assets to receive indoor treatment in hospitals".

Several State governments have implemented or supplemented health protection schemes that provide varying coverage.

The finance minister urged the private sector to support the government's healthcare initiatives through their corporate social responsibility and philanthropic activities. "Nearly six to seven crore people fall into poverty every year due to medical expenses".

Allaying fears about funding of the ambitious project, Niti Aayog member V K Paul said the government would have additional resources of Rs 11,000 crore through the additional 1% cess introduced in the Budget.

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