Union cabinet approves 'Modicare' national health scheme

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the launch of Modi government's health scheme, Ayushman Bharat - National Health Protection Mission (NHPM), with budgetary support of Rs16,000 crore for 2018-19 and 2019-20.

The Cabinet also approved to continue the National Health Mission (NHM) till 2019-20, at a cost of Rs85200 crore. NHM aims to provides free services to those below the poverty line and will complement the NHPS, said officials. 
The scheme, which will be portable across india, aims to provide a universal health coverage to all Indians. It also aims to make health services affordable and accessible to the poorest and the neediest. 
The scheme provides a benefit cover of Rs5 lakh per family per year. The target beneficiaries of the proposed scheme will be more than 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC), which identifies poor in seven defined categories of deprivation. 
The cover under the scheme will take care of almost all secondary care and most of tertiary care procedures.  
NHPS will replace the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), where the annual health cover is up to Rs 30,000. To reduce costs, state governments will calculate package rates for treatment under the scheme in their respective states. 
The cabinet approval includes setting up of nodal agencies by states or even a trust to run it. The health minister will head the scheme and take all decisions on policy. 
Union health minister JP Nadda tweeted: "NHPM will cover over 10 crore poor families (approximately 50 crore people), providing a coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh. There is no limit on family size. This will be the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme."  
"AB-NHPM will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes -Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS)," an official statement read. 
The cost of premium payments will be shared between the central and state governments in a specified ratio, in accordance with the finance minstry's guidelines.