LIFE STYLE
BUDGET 2018
National Health Protection Scheme: 10 crore families to get benefit from Oct 2
- TEAM PT
National Health Protection Scheme: 10 crore families to get benefit from Oct 2



A day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme in Union Budget 2018-19, finer details of the scheme have come in.
 
On Friday, NITI Aayog members spoke at length about the government’s new ambitious healthcare scheme which looks to cover 10 crore families. They said that all will get ‘free health insurance’ and every family member will get the benefit of living.

There’s no cap on the number of family members who can avail the scheme.  The costs will be covered 60% by the Centre and 40% by states. Called Ayushman Bharat, it was implemented from October 2. NITI Aayog added that the scheme will cost exchequer to the tune of Rs 10,000-12,000 crore.

While the Centre will bear an annual burden of around Rs 5,000-6,000 crore towards premium on health cover, the remaining amount will come from the state governments, he said.

The expenditure on the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), which seeks to provide health cover of Rs 5 lakh to 10 crore households, will be borne jointly by the centre and the states, said Niti Aayog advisor Alok Kumar.

Kumar further said that the premium for each household for the insurance cover would work out to be between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,200, which will be borne by the state.
 
They added that education and health cess funds will be used to raise the money. The template of the scheme is almost ready and will help 10 million families get healthcare.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the world's biggest health cover plan announced in the Budget will be cashless and not a reimbursement scheme and promised more funds if required depending on the rollout later next financial year.
 
While the process to avail the scheme will be completely paperless and cashless, one would only need Aadhaar to enrol in the policy.

The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) touted as ModiCare envisaged to provide medical cover of up to Rs 5 lakh to over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, constituting 40 per cent of total population.

"It takes care of hospitalisation, the secondary and tertiary care. Obviously, it will involve various state hospitals and selected private hospitals. It can be on trust model, it can be on insurance model. It's not on reimbursement model because too many complaints come on the reimbursement model," he said here.

The model is now being worked out between NITI Aayog and Health Ministry, he said adding the date of implementation would be next financial year and sometime in the course of the year it will be worked out.

If assuming the model to be insurance led, the premium shrink with the increase in number of policy holders, he said at an event organised by Open magazine.

The scheme although appreciated by experts also raises apprehension about its implementation and the initial corpus of just Rs 2,000 crore.

Assuring that the scheme will be entirely state funded, Jaitley said initial funds of Rs 2,000 crore has been allocated and whatever funds required, as the scheme rolls over, would be made available.

"In the coming year, I see more comfortable situation as far as revenues are concerned because the graphs as far as direct tax is concerned would move very fast," he said.

Following demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax, the number of direct tax assesses have gone up ... once anti-evasion measures, I do expect a little bump up in the GST collection also. I don't see revenue going to be a major challenge in that," he said.
 

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