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NEW DELHI: The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) announced as part of Budget 2018 will be implemented from October 2, reported ANI.
The scheme, which will replace the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), is expected to significantly increase healthcare facitilies, particularly those in smaller towns and villages.
The new scheme will cover around 10 crore “vulnerable” families, and will have 50 crore beneficiaries, finance minister Arun Jaitley had said in his Budget speech in Parliament on Thursday.
Calling it the world’s largest government funded healthcare programme, Jaitley added that it would take healthcare protection to a new aspirational level.
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Later in the day, he told Doordarshan News in an interview that “people will one day say ‘Modicare’ has been successful.”
NHPS outlines a cover of Rs 5 lakh for poor and vulnerable families for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.
Interestingly, the RSBY provides an annual coverage of Rs 30,000.
NHPS is also expected to give insurers more bargaining power in controlling costs of procedures, and could lead to innovations in health insurance, as it brings under its umbrella 40 percent of the Indian population.
However, it is still unclear how the government plans to fund a scheme expected to cost up to Rs 50,000 crore if the Rs 5-lakh cover has the same terms as existing group policies.
The scheme will require an estimated Rs 11,000 crore in central and state government funding each year, an official told Reuters.
The unnamed official added that under the new scheme, the government estimates the cost of insuring each family would be about Rs 1,100.
(With inputs from agencies)