The scheme will benefit over 50 crore Indians and offers an annual coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Centre’s flagship Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) on Sunday in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
Originally named as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan (PMJAY), the Ayushman Bharat scheme will provide an annual coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family.
Aimed to benefit more than 10.74 crore poor families in India for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation, the ambitious scheme will operate through a network of Empaneled Healthcare Providers.
The scheme is intended to provide cashless and paperless access to services for all the beneficiaries.
According to the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), about 85.9 percent of rural households and 82 percent of urban households have no access to healthcare insurance/assurance. The scheme will benefit 8.03 crore people in rural India and 2.33 crore people in urban areas.
It further adds the beneficiaries will be identified based on the deprivation categories (D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, and D7) for rural areas and for the urban areas, the 11 occupational criteria will determine the entitlement.
According to a statement released by the government:
There is no cap on the family size and age in the scheme, ensuring that nobody is left out. One would only need to establish one’s identity to avail benefits under the scheme and it could be through Aadhaar card, election ID card or ration card. However, having an Aadhaar card is not mandatory. The objectives are to reduce out of pocket hospitalisation expenses, fulfill unmet needs and improve access of identified families to quality in-patient care and day care surgeries.
The National Health Agency (NHA), the apex body implementing the scheme, has come up with a website and a helpline number to assist the beneficiaries. The website mera.pmjay.gov.in and the toll-free number 14555 can be used to enroll. A beneficiary needs to key in his/her mobile number, which is verified through an OTP and then complete the KYC (know your customer) norms online without any need for human interface with other documents.
All the beneficiaries will be given letters having QR codes, which will be scanned, and a demographic authentication will be conducted for identification and to verify his or her eligibility to avail the benefits of the scheme.
As many as 30 states and Union Territories have signed MoUs with the Centre and will implement the programme over the next two-to-three months. The pilot launch has already been done in around 22 states and Union territories.
However, Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab have not enrolled for the scheme. As of now, 8,735 private and public hospitals have been announced to be empaneled hospitals for the scheme, among the 15,686 applications that the center has received.
VK Paul, Chief Architect of the Scheme, said:
The Prime Minister will launch the scheme on September 23, but it will become operational only from September 25, on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.
The services will include 1,350 procedures covering pre and post hospitalisation, diagnostics, medicines etc. The Yojana beneficiaries will be able to move across borders and access services across the country through the provider network.
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