After protracted deliberations decks seem to have been cleared for introducing an integrated health insurance scheme with Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi giving his approval to the proposed welfare
After protracted deliberations decks seem to have been cleared for introducing an integrated health insurance scheme with Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi giving his approval to the proposed welfare measure.
The new scheme which is likely to be named-National Health Protection scheme (NHPS) aims to bring together all existing health insurance schemes and in its new avatar is expected to offer increased coverage.
Sources said that after extensive deliberations, a final presentation was made before the Prime Minister on Monday soon after he came back from Chandigarh after the grand international yoga day celebrations.
“The road appears to be ending now. The Prime Minister seemed convinced with the final proposal,” sources said.
The Union health secretary gave the presentation along with officials from department of financial services, ministry of finance and the cabinet secretary who were also present during the meeting with the Prime Minister.
The scheme proposes to offer a health cover of up to `1 lakh per family and for senior citizens, a top-up of Rs 30,000 additionally.
Officials say that the integration will ease governance and save resources of the government.
“The integrated scheme will not only help beneficiaries rise but even the number of schemes will go down, consequently saving resources of the government”.
The proposed scheme has brought together those life insurance schemes where health subject is inbuilt including those which are related to accident cover, those which cover disabilities, labour, railways, textiles, fishermen etc. Interestingly, various ministries like the ministry of health, ministry of textiles, ministry of social justice and empowerment, women and child development, ministry of agriculture etc run separate health insurance related schemes.
Similarly, the state government also run their insurance schemes some are even run in the name of the chief ministers of the state.
The deliberations started last year on the suggestion of the PM Modi who asked the ministries to come up with an umbrella programme, bringing together the existing health insurance schemes.
At present, India only has the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) was envisaged to provide health insurance coverage to Below Poverty Line families. Its beneficiaries are entitled to hospitalisation coverage of up to Rs 30,000 for most diseases. “While the Expediture Finance Committee (EFC) has already approved the scheme. Extensive deliberations were going on for the past one year with the Cabinet secretary over-seeing the movements on the proposed scheme. We are hopeful that the PM will soon announce the scheme,” sources added.