Under the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) or the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), which aims to provide health insurance up to Rs 5 lakh to families from economically weaker section, the UT Administration has catered to over 23,687 families, out of the total 71,000 families identified as eligible under the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) conducted in 2011.
The data reveals the number of families covered under the scheme since it was launched countrywide on September 23, 2018. “Only those who have been identified under the 2011 SECC are allowed to avail the benefits, and no additional registrations of families can be made. There can only be additions in case of a new marriage, or the birth of a child, and deletions in case of a death in the family,” says Dr G Dewan, Director Health for UT Chandigarh.
All those identified as eligible have to get a scheme card made in order to claim the insurance. There are booths in all major government hospitals in the city, wherein one can go and get their cards made. Apart from that, the city’s health department has identified places where there is a density of eligible families which have not availed the benefits of the scheme, and set up special health camps to facilitate the process of making scheme cards for these families.
However, not all eligible under the scheme have received their cards yet. Official sources state that this is because many remain unaware of the scheme and its benefits. “Since Chandigarh already provides quality public healthcare to its residents at a very low cost, many don’t feel the need to avail the benefits of the PM-JAY. But since the health insurance scheme provides complete free care to these families, we make sure to create awareness and enrol more beneficiaries,” says Dewan.
Other eligible families which are currently not covered under the scheme are yet to be verified by government authorities. After checking one’s name for eligibility under the census, one has to verify their identity by producing Aadhaar or ration cards. Furthermore, family identity can be proved using a government-certified list of family members or even through a Rashtriya Swasthya Beema Yojana (RSBY) card. RSBY is an earlier health insurance scheme, the benefits of which could be availed by BPL card-holders.
Those who possess the scheme cards can avail benefits from 13 private hospitals and five government hospitals — GMSH-16, civil hospital-22, civil hospital-Manimajra, civil hospital-45 and GMCH-32 in Chandigarh. Since the scheme allows portability in terms of receiving insurance at empanelled hospitals across the country, no matter where patients are originally from, many beneficiaries in Chandigarh come from sates such as Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. A total of 4,475 portable cases have claimed insurance worth Rs 4.80 crore in the city.
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