Centre’s flagship national health insurance scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat’ is set to be rechristened in Madhya Pradesh .
Dubbing it as ‘Maha-Ayushman’, MP health minister Tulsi Silawat announced that the coverage in the state would be Rs7.50 lakh, which is Rs2.5 lakh more than what is currently offered by Centre.
“The new scheme will be an improved version of Ayushman Bharat,” said Silawat.
According to sources, the ‘right to health’ policy is in the works and is expected to be announced by August 15.
The health insurance scheme in MP already provides free health care to an additional 34 lakh families, which are covered under its food security scheme. Centre’s scheme did not include those under the food security scheme. It was limited to around 83 lakh poor and vulnerable families, identified as deprived rural families and occupational categories of urban workers’ families as per the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data. Madhya Pradesh is also registering the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) for health insurance.
Paying for health cover of more than 1.14 crore families will cost the exchequer over Rs2,000 crore. Currently this is about Rs900 crore, which is the contribution of the state government under the insurance scheme.
State government will need more than t Rs1,500 crore more to implement the new scheme as it will have to pay the additional premium of Rs528 crore, which is now being paid by the Centre under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
The leader of the Opposition, Gopal Bhargava, said: “The state government is cash-strapped and it is not clear from where will it raise the funds for the new scheme. It is yet another ploy by Congress government to misguide the public.” – TOI