Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda has termed the proposed National Health Protection Scheme as "NaMocare" and said various health components of the ambitious programme have been worked out
"In this NaMocare, under the Ayushman Bharat, all health components and its stages have been addressed," Nadda told reporters on February 2, a day after the scheme was announced in the Union Budget for 2018-19.
He termed the scheme as a "revolutionary" step and said money will never be a problem.
National Health Protection Scheme is slated to be the world's largest government funded healthcare programme which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, providing coverage up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.
Asked about the age brackets for the health cover under the scheme, Nadda said that "geriatrics (old age) will be very specifically covered."
The government has allocated Rs 2,000 crore for the scheme but official sources said the expenditure in the first year could be to the tune of Rs 3,000 crore.
They said the premium could be in the range of Rs 1,000-1,200 for Rs 5 lakh coverage. Implementation can be on trust mode or insurance company mode with states having flexibility to adopt.
The existing Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) will be subsumed in Ayushman Bharat.
Sources said the scheme will not have any cap on family size and it will be free for the eligible citizens.
They said the scheme will have 60:40 ratio of expenses between Centre and the state and it will be paperless and cashless.
The scheme will be Aadhaar-linked but those not having Aadhaar card will not be denied eligibility.
The sources said the scheme will go a long way in reducing the urban-rural divide and in galvanising the healthcare system.
The Budget has also allocated Rs 1,200 crore towards Health and Wellness Centres envisioned in the National Health Policy 2017.
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