Updated January 17th, 2024 at 19:33 IST
Insurance coverage under Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme likely to be doubled
Expansion would include recipients of Kisan Samman Nidhi, construction workers, non-coal mine workers, and ASHA workers over the next three years.
- 2 min read
Ayushman Bharat health insurance: The government is reportedly considering a proposal to double the insurance coverage under the Ayushman Bharat health scheme to Rs 10 lakh. This move aims to provide enhanced support for serious diseases like cancer and transplants, which typically involve higher expenditures. Sources suggest that an official announcement regarding this proposal is expected in the upcoming interim Union Budget on February 1.
Under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY), the government is also planning to double the number of beneficiaries to 100 crore. This expansion would include recipients of Kisan Samman Nidhi, construction workers, non-coal mine workers, and ASHA workers over the next three years.
Ensuring comprehensive coverage
The Health Ministry is actively working on finalising a proposal to increase the insurance cover from the current Rs 5 lakh per family per year to Rs 10 lakh per family per year, starting from the financial year 2023–24. This adjustment is aimed at ensuring comprehensive coverage for serious illnesses that may incur expenses beyond the existing limit.
The proposed increase in coverage and beneficiaries would necessitate an additional annual allocation of Rs 12,076 crore. Since its launch in 2018, the AB PM-JAY scheme has facilitated 6.2 crore hospital admissions, amounting to over Rs 79,157 crore. Officials note that the scheme has proven cost-effective, as treatment expenses covered within its framework are significantly lower compared to the expenses incurred outside the scheme.
For the financial year 2023–24, the budget allocation for Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY is Rs 7,200 crore, expected to increase to around Rs 15,000 crore in the financial year 2025. The initiative has issued over 30 crore Ayushman cards, with Uttar Pradesh leading in card distribution. Efforts are being made to achieve gender parity, regional balance, and income equity in healthcare access through the scheme, with 49 per cent of Ayushman cards issued to female beneficiaries and 48 per cent of treatments availed of by females. The scheme is committed to the core principles of gender equity and inclusivity in healthcare.
(with PTI inputs)
Published January 17th, 2024 at 19:33 IST