Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched its ambitious ‘Ayushman Bharat Scheme’ in Jharkhand. “This will be the world’s biggest health insurance scheme in the world and will benefit more than 50 crore people,” he said. Ayushman Bharat is a healthcare scheme aimed at providing medicare to over 10 crore vulnerable families or an estimated 50 crore people. Under the scheme, a health cover of Rs 5 lakh would be given to each beneficiary family per year. A beneficiary covered under Ayushman Bharat will be entitled to avail cashless cover of medical expenditure during treatment at identified or empanelled private hospitals across the country. Insurance cover under Ayushman Bharat will include pre and post-hospitalisation expenses. Launching the scheme in Ranchi, the prime minister claimed that no government in the world at present is running a state-funded health insurance scheme that has an outlay exceeding that of the Aayushman Bharat Scheme. “We have started this scheme with the aim to provide treatment and insurance cover to the poorest of the poor. The scheme will benefit people irrespective of caste, sex, religion and region,” he said. Outlining the scale of coverage under the scheme, Modi said the total number of beneficiaries of his insurance cover is equal to the combined population of the European Union. “If you combine the population of the US, Mexico and Canada on one side, and the beneficiaries of Aayushman Bharat Scheme, the two figures would be near equal,” he said. The prime minister said that the beneficiaries of this scheme will be covered for 1,300 ailments, including cancer, problems related to heart, kidney and liver. “Treatment up to Rs 5 lakh will be carried out free of cost at government and private hospitals. The cost will include treatment, hospitalisation charge, medicine, among others,” he said.
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