National Health Protection Scheme roll out likely on October 2

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The National Health Protection Scheme, announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Thursday in his Budget speech for 2018-19, will cover approximately 50 crore people. The premium for every household for the insurance scheme is expected to be around Rs 1,000-1,200 annually.

Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said a lot of specificity will be brought into the scheme by the first quarter of the next fiscal. "For this Rs2,000 crore has been kept for it as of now", said Nadda.

In addition, the beneficiary can also get treatment of secondary and tertiary care hospitals which have been empaneled outside the state of Meghalaya. For instance, some private hospitals that charge up to Rs3 lakh for angioplasty and stenting, do the same surgery for ₹65,000. We recommend the trust-based model, but states would have to decide. If assuming the model to be insurance led, the premium shrinks with the increase in the number of policyholders, he said at the event organised by Open magazine. Taken together, the resources are adequate to launch the scheme, most probably on Oct.2, say Government officials. One of the criticisms of RSBY (Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna) was that everybody was required to register and registration process was very complex. He said that the Centre was working out on the nuances of the program.

"Around ₹2,000 crore has been allocated for the scheme, but eventually, the states will have to implement it with help from the Centre". Of the Rs 500 insurance premium, the Centre contributed Rs 375 and the remaining Rs 175 was paid by the respective state governments. "This will cost an additional Rs 1070 crore", a source told Business Today.

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The scheme will be paperless, cashless, and Aadhaar-linked, and there will be no cap on family size.

In first and second phase, the government provided insurance coverage of Rs. 1,60,000 to each enrolled beneficiary family for an enrollment fee of Rs. 31 per annum. Under the RSBY, the beneficiaries were provided health coverage of Rs 30,000 per family and the cost was shared by the Centre and states in a 75:25 ratio.

Several state government has their own health care schemes but they are generally small or poorly implemented. He also emphasised on having better hospitals in rural areas even though Tier I and Tier II cities have good hospitals.

Adding to this, he also stated, there is no programme as inclusive as ours. One, with the National Health Policy announced past year, the Government proposed establishment of 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres with an aim to provide comprehensive care to the people for treatment and diagnostics for NCDs as well as Maternal and Child Health. The health minister pointed out that NHPS shall provide the highest coverage of Rs 5 lakh compared to any of the existing centre / state sponsored health insurance schemes. Kumar said around 6-7 crore persons fall into poverty each year due to medical expenses and they are often in non-poor category.

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