Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23, 2018 launched the flagship scheme 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana' (PMJAY), also known as Ayushman Bharat or the National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM).
While launching the healthcare scheme at Ranchi, Jharkhand, PM Modi said that "This is the world’s largest health scheme which will serve a population that equals 27-28 European countries. The beneficiaries are almost equal to the population of Canada, Mexico and US put together."
Beneficiaries of the Ayushman Bharat insurance programme in Jharkhand were sent a two-page personalised letter from PM Modi outlining the importance and benefits of the project. The government will send similar letters to 10.74 crore beneficiary families. The letters will have photograph of PM Modi.
On the same occasion, the Prime Minister also launched a toll free number 14555 for people to get more information about Ayushma Bharat scheme.
The scheme will become operational from September 25, 2018, the birth anniversary of Deendayal Upadhyay.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (Ayushman Bharat or AB-NHPM)
• Ayushman Bharat, the government-sponsored health insurance scheme, will provide free coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year in any government or even empanelled private hospitals all over India.
• Launched with an aim to help the poor and the economically deprived, the scheme will be available for 10.74 crore beneficiary families and about 50 crore Indian citizens.
• This scheme will strengthen the healthcare services in India. Around 13000 hospitals in the country have been coordinated for the implementation of the scheme.
• The Ayushman Bharat programme will be funded with 60 percent contribution from the Centre and the remaining from the states.
• The scheme aims to target poor and vulnerable population of the country, based on the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC) database. There will be no cap on family size and age in the scheme.
• The benefit cover will also include pre and post-hospitalisation expenses. All pre-existing conditions will be covered from day one of the policy.
• A defined transport allowance per hospitalisation will also be paid to the beneficiary.
• The scheme allows the beneficiary to take cashless benefits from any public or private empanelled hospitals across the country.
• The payment for treatment will be done on package rate which will be defined by the Government in advance basis. The package rates will include all the costs associated with treatment. The States and UTs will have the flexibility to modify these rates within a limited bandwidth.
• For beneficiaries, it will be a cashless and paper less transaction.
• The scheme will work in partnership with NITI Aayog to operationalise a robust, modular and interoperable IT platform which will involve a paperless and cashless transaction.
• The National Health Agency (NHA), the apex body implementing the scheme, has launched a website (mera.pmjay.gov.in).
Who all can avail of the scheme and how?
The Ayushman Bharat is an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database.
Here are the different categories of families in rural areas that can be covered under the scheme:
One would only need to establish one's identity to avail benefits under the scheme and it could be through Aadhaar card or election ID card or ration card. Having an Aadhaar card is not mandatory.
All the beneficiaries will be given letters having QR codes which will be scanned. A demographic authentication will be conducted for identification to verify his or her eligibility to avail the benefits of the scheme.
In case of hospitalisation, members of the beneficiary families do not need to pay anything under the scheme, provided if one goes to a government or an empanelled private hospital.
• The beneficiaries can avail of the benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities. All public hospitals in the States implementing the scheme will be considered empanelled for the Scheme.
• Hospitals belonging to Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) will also be empanelled based on the bed occupancy ratio parameter.
• While, the private hospitals will be empanelled online, based on defined criteria.
• Each empanelled hospital will have an 'Ayushman Mitra help desk' where a prospective beneficiary can check documents to verify the eligibility and enrolment to the scheme.
• So far, 15686 applications for hospital empanelment have been received and over 8735 hospitals, both public and private, have been empanelled for the scheme.
As many as 30 states and Union Territories have signed MoUs with the Union Government to implement the programme over the next two to three months. However, Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab have still not signed the MoUs, so the scheme will not be implemented in these states till they come on board.
States will be required to form a State Health Agency (SHA) to implement the scheme and at the district level also, a structure for implementation of the scheme will be set up. To ensure that the funds reach SHA on time, the transfer of funds from Central Government to State Health Agencies may be done through an escrow account directly.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana or Ayushman Bharat to cover child cancer treatment
The Union Government has announced that the treatment of childhood cancer will be covered under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. The information was shared by NITI Aayog member Vinod Kumar Paul, while speaking at a function in New Delhi on September 9, 2018.
Paul revealed that child cancer will be treated under the Ayushman Bharat scheme and the rate in this regard has been fixed.
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