PM Modi may unpack health scheme in I-Day speech

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Narendra Modi at Bharat ki Baat
Narendra Modi at Bharat ki Baat

The Rs 5 lakh annual health cover programme for 10.74 crore families was announced in the Union Budget

All eyes in the country will naturally be on prime minister Narendra Modi when he delivers his Independence Day speech tomorrow morning from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

The health sector will listen in a bit more closely.

Modi is widely expected in this year’s speech to unpack his vision of Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission, the Rs 5 crore annual health cover programme for 10.74 crore families. Following this “soft launch”, the scheme is expected to officially launch on October 2. With Maharashtra deciding to become a part of the programme, 29 states are so far on board for the central scheme that will be implemented through a 60-40 financial partnership with states.

Even before the much awaited and much anticipated mention by the prime minister, fake websites and whatsapp forwards urging people to enrol for the programme has sent NHA officials into a tizzy

The National Health Agency will be the nodal agency for the implementation of the programme. However, even before the much awaited and much anticipated mention by the prime minister, fake websites and whatsapp forwards urging people to enrol for the programme has sent NHA officials into a tizzy. There is no system or beneficiaries enrolling for the mission. Lists of those eligible for the benefits have already been verified and frozen across the country.

The agency is even mulling police action as they are apprehensive that the appeals for enrolment would start being accompanied by demands for cash from beneficiaries, as had happened with the other flagship of the NDA government – Beti Bachao Beti Padhao. In 2017 a CBI inquiry was initiated into alleged fraud in BBBP when beneficiaries were asked to pay a price for availing benefits under the programme.

AB-NHPM or the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission (PMRSSM) will enter the states in alliance with the state health schemes. In states other than the special category states the state government will pay 40% of the premium amount. For special category states the state share is 10%.

So in Telangana, Ayushman Bharat will be in alliance with Aarogyashri, in Tamil Nadu, it will be in alliance with the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme and in Maharashtra it will be in alliance with the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana.

It is the decision of the state whether it wants to implement the scheme through insurance companies or by forming a trust.

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