Ayushman Bharat Yojana, also known as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), is a scheme that aims to help economically vulnerable Indians who are in need of healthcare facilities. National Health Protection Scheme, which has now been renamed as Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, plans to make secondary and tertiary healthcare completely cashless. The PM Jan Arogya Yojana beneficiaries get an e-card that can be used to avail services at an empanelled hospital, public or private, anywhere in the country. With it, you can walk into a hospital and obtain cashless treatment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, announcing the official launch of AB-PMJAY said, “On 25th of September, the birth anniversary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, the Pradhanmantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), will be launched throughout the country. No poor person of the country will have to face difficulty in dealing with diseases. Nor he would have to borrow money from a moneylender paying interest. The scheme will open new avenues of employment for the youth as well as for the middle class families in the health sector.
In the coming days, people from lower middle class, middle class and upper middle class income groups can also access healthcare services from these two programmes. This is a technology-driven system which is transparent. The coverage includes 3 days of pre-hospitalisation and 15 days of post-hospitalisation expenses. Moreover, around 1,400 procedures with all related costs like OT expenses are taken care of. All in all, PMJAY and the e-card provide a coverage of Rs. 5 lakh per family, per year, thus helping the economically disadvantaged obtain easy access to healthcare services.
The scheme has certain pre-conditions by which it picks who can avail of the health cover benefit. While in the rural areas the list is mostly categorized on lack of housing, meagre income and other deprivations, the urban list of PMJAY beneficiaries is drawn up on the basis of occupation. Though the scheme looks optimistic, healthcare experts indicate that nationally mandating a health insurance system needs to improve the quality of government infrastructure pan India and offer better opportunities for the private sector at a right price. The central government is trying to align with state governments and woo private players.
This is the first phase of the world’s largest health insurance plan will be rolled out in 14 states and two union territories on September 25. The programme intends to change the healthcare landscape of the country by providing a insurance cover to 10 crore households, i.e. 50 crore individual beneficiaries with INR 5 lakh per family per year.