GoM considers expanding health insurance scheme

Health insurance scheme

A group of ministers (GoM) meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh Monday discussed a Rs 4,000-crore annual expansion plan for the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to cover 8 crore families under what is being tentatively called the National Health Protection Scheme.

The new scheme, according to the plan, will cover poor families and labourers, among others, as per deprivation statistics given in the latest socio-economic caste survey (SECC) with a minimum package of Rs 50,000 per family, with a provision of a top-up of Rs 30,000 for every senior citizen and a transportation allowance of Rs 250 for every hospitalisation.

There will be no ceiling on the number of family members that can be covered. The scheme is estimated to cost Rs 23,415 crore over a period of five years.

Last month, The Indian Express had reported about the plan to expand the health scheme, earlier managed by the labour ministry, in preparation for a universal health insurance plan for all citizens of the country.

The scheme is one of the key aspects of what the UPA called the Universal Health Coverage programme, and what the NDA now calls the National Health Assurance Mission.

Initially, the RSBY was designed as a health scheme essentially for BPL workers. At the time of being transferred to health ministry from labour, the RSBY came with about 3.72 crore active smart cards that entailed coverage for about 15 crore people from BPL families.

The transfer took place as the NDA government decided to use it as a blueprint for universal insurance rather than starting a coverage programme from scratch.

Apart from Singh, Monday’s GoM meeting was attended by Health Minister J P Nadda, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and MoS (Finance) Jayant Sinha.

The proposal that was taken up by the GoM has provisions to set up a National Health Agency to administer the scheme centrally, and it will be left to the states to pick trust-based or insurance-based implementation model.

Curated from GoM considers expanding health insurance scheme

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