Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch flagship health insurance programme today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch flagship health insurance programme today

Reiterating the slogan "Sabka saath, sabka vikas" (together for all, development for all), Modi said the Ayushman scheme is not based on any communal or caste lines.

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana, which was earlier the National Health Protection Mission, was announced in the Union Budget in February under the larger Ayushman Bharat programme.

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.

Promoted as "Modicare" - on the lines of former U.S. president Barack Obama's "Obamacare" healthcare programme - the scheme is expected to be a gamechanger for the government in run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. "More than 24 per cent households in rural India and 18 per cent population in urban area have met their healthcare expenses through some sort of borrowing". "The beneficiaries are nearly equal to the population of Canada, Mexico and USA put together", said PM Modi. Reportedly, the beneficiaries have been identified on the basis of deprivation categories such as D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, and D7 respectively.

- SC/ST families and landless households deriving income from manual labour also qualify to be covered under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

A health card would be provided to the beneficiaries for availing of the benefits. "The poor of my country must get all facilities that the rich enjoy", Modi said.

It can implement the Scheme through an insurance company or directly through the Trust/Society/Implementation Support Agency or a mixed approach.

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One can visit the website mera.pmjay.gov.in or call up the helpline (14555) to check their enrolment. 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. Having an Aadhaar card is not mandatory to avail the scheme's benefit.

As many as 31 states and Union territories have signed MoUs with the Centre and will implement the programme over the next two months, after its launch on Sunday. He suggested that PM Modi should focus his energies on curbing the rising prices of fuel in the country instead of picking on a state that already has a good healthcare programme.

Remaining states and UTs which include Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab have not signed, so the scheme will not be implemented in those states till they come on board.

So far, the Government has received 15,686 applications from hospitals, of which roughly half are private hospitals.

NITI Aayog member Dr Vinod Paul said the scheme - to be funded on a 60:40 ratio by the centre and state - will come into effect from September 25, the birth anniversary of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.

However, the pilot will start with over 1,280 hospitals, both public and private. Treatment for all beneficiaries started on Sunday across the country.

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