Use of Aadhaar in `Ayushman Bharat' health insurance `desirable, not must'

The government on Thursday clarified that the use of Aadhaar card is desirable for availing benefits under the Ayushman Bharat national health protection scheme, it is not a “must”.

The health ministry of health and family welfare was reacting to some newspaper reports that stated the use of Aadhaar card will be a “must” to avail benefits under the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission.
“The notification of the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission being issued by MoHFW under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, merely enables the implementation agencies to ask for the beneficiary Aadhaar card to authenticate their identity. In order to authenticate the identity of beneficiaries accurately, the use of Aadhaar card is preferable, but it is not a “must”. There shall be no denial of benefit for want of Aadhaar number,” the ministry stated.
“We will provide services to all eligible beneficiaries with or without Aadhaar cards,” union health minister J P Nadda confirmed.
The draft notification also provides for exception handling mechanism, viz, production of alternate identification mechanisms such as ration card, voter ID card, MGNREGA card etc (as mentioned in the notification) in case the beneficiary does not have an Aadhaar number. Furthermore, it also makes the implementation agencies accountable for setting up of Aadhaar enrollment centers for the beneficiaries who are not yet enrolled for Aadhaar, at convenient locations.
ABNHPM guidelines on beneficiary identification very clearly state that beneficiaries can bring Aadhar or any other valid government id(s) decided by the state if they do not have an Aadhaar.
The healthcare scheme offers to provide insurance cover of up to Rs5 lakh per family per year to over 100 million poor families for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.