Ayushman Bharat scheme: Kerala may not join
Thrissur: Kerala will not join central government's ambitious health insurance scheme called Ayushman Bharat which will be launched on September 23. It is reported that Kerala refused to sign the memorandum with centre to join the scheme.
The state government will take final decision on joining the scheme when Chief Minister returns from US.
Apart from Kerala, states including Delhi, Odisha and Rajasthan have also expressed reluctance to be a part of the scheme.
The scheme which was announced during the last year’s Union Budget will have a defined benefit cover of Rs 5 lakh for a family per year. Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country. It is expected to benefit around 50 cr people.
It is learned that about 18.58 lakh families from rural areas and 5 lakh families from urban areas in Kerala would benefit from the scheme. It will be an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) database.
For giving policy directions and fostering coordination between Centre and States, it is proposed to set up Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Council (AB-NHPMC) at apex level Chaired by Union Health and Family Welfare Minister.
States would need to have State Health Agency (SHA) to implement the scheme. 22 states have already setup the agencies and joined the scheme.
It will target about 10.74 crore poor, deprived rural families and identified occupational category of urban workers' families as per the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data covering both rural and urban across the country.
About 15,686 hospitals including private ones have shown willingness to be a part of the scheme. The National Health Agency (NHA) will implement the scheme in the country. Ayushman Bharat - National Health Protection Mission will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes - Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).
Premium would be higher
The preliminary studies suggest that Kerala would have to pay more premium than the Centre if Kerala joins the scheme. This has been made clear during the discussion with the union health ministry.
The amount a patient may get will be Rs 150 in the new scheme which is lesser than existing schemes in Kerala. If centre solvess this issue, then Kerala might join the scheme, said Health minister KK Shailaja.