The Cabinet yesterday approved the launch of the centrally-sponsored scheme called Ayushman Bharat under the National Health Protection Mission, offering Rs 5 lakh health insurance cover per family a year to 11 crore poor and vulnerable families.
The new scheme, announced in the Budget 2018, will subsume the ongoing centrally-sponsored schemes such as the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme.
The Cabinet also approved a budgetary support of Rs 85,200 crore as central share between fiscal years 2018 and 2020 to the on-going National Health Mission, which has two sub-missions, the National Rural Health Mission and the National Urban Health Mission. The government will integrate NHPM into the NHM.
“We believe the latest thrust to affordable and quality healthcare for all, especially the economically disadvantaged citizens, is well-intended and will boost insurance penetration from the current 33 per cent to over 50 per cent on implementation,” Crisil said in a report today.
“With the new scheme,the coverage will increase to over 650 million persons from 438 million persons now,” the report said.
As of March 2017, nearly 438 million persons were covered under various health insurance schemes, including 335 million under various government sponsored schemes, including the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana.
However, the mechanism and vehicle for raising the huge resources required for the moves will be a key monitorable, the report noted.
The National Health Mission has seen cumulative spend of Rs 53,200 crore during the past two fiscal years and government has already allocated Rs 30,100 crore in budgetary support for fiscal 2019.
During this period, government has also spent Rs 3,800 crore on two insurance schemes (Rs 900 crore on RSBY and Rs 2,900 crore on CGHS pensioners) and also allocated Rs 3,600 crore in budgetary support for fiscal 2019 (Rs 2,000 crore on RSBY and Rs 1,600 crore on CGHS pensioners).
Though the execution framework is unclear at the moment with some Opposition-ruled states like West Bengal opting out of the scheme already, the report said the sector can be in for a huge fillip if the intent is pushed through.