The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, was the Indian government’s flagship health insurance scheme aimed at the poor.
Recently, it was decided that the plan would be expanded and the roll out would be ultimately carried out by the states. Here is a brief overview on the plan and its key features.
The scheme, which began rolling out in 2008, started operating under the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Also, this plan was applauded the world over as appreciation poured in from the UN, ILO and the World Bank as it was hailed as one of the world’s best health insurance plans.
However, the plan was later transferred to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2015.
In February 2016, in a meeting of a group of ministers, it was decided that the plan would be expanded to cover 50 crore people and 10 crore families. The expansion project was said to cost Rs 4,000-crore.
If this plan comes into play, it will be a massive step towards offering universal health insurance. Initially, the scheme was visualized as the Universal Health Coverage programme by the UPA government, which the NDA later adopted as the National Health Assurance Mission.
What are the features of the scheme?
As per the scheme, it will not only list beneficiaries based on their income. In fact, as per the government, the new plan will also cover poor families based on the deprivation statistics as per the socio-economic caste survey .
The minimum package would be worth Rs 50, 000 for each family. Also, there will be a provision for aRs 30,000 top up for senior citizens.
Additionally, the scheme allows for a transportation costs worth Rs 250 in case of hospitalisation.
Keeping in mind that the scheme is specially tailored for the poor, there is no limit on the number of people who can come under the coverage. The new plan is expected to roll out by financial year 2017-18.
What makes the plan unique?
Use of information technology
For the very first time, there is significant use of IT applications for a social scheme, especially on such a massive scale.
The enrolled families are issued smart cards, which are biometric enabled and contains their fingerprints along with photographs.
Also, the network of hospitals which are part of the scheme are IT enabled and connected to the server in order to ensure there is a seamless flow of data for better use of the services.
Another key feature of this government scheme is that the insured people will receive cashless treatment at the network of hospitals upon displaying the smart card and following the verification process.
The entire process is meant to be paperless as the claims are also sent online to the insurer and payments made electronically.
Strong monitoring system
As per the government, the new scheme will have a strong monitoring and evaluation system in place. With a data management system in place, any transaction across India can be tracked.
While the much awaited expanded scheme is yet to be implemented, here is a look at a few health insurance policies that you can look to invest in
|Company Name||Coverage to include||Co pay||Renewability||Coverage for pre-existing diseases|
|New India Assurance||Six ( 2 adults, 4 children)||10% on pre-existing medical conditions||Lifetime||After completion of four years|
|National Insurance||Six ( 2 adults, 4 children)||Zonal copay||Lifetime||After completion of four years|
|Universal Sompo General Insurance Company||Four (2 adults, 2 children)||20% for insured people who are aged above 55 years||Up to 70 years of age||After completion of three years|