As many as 9.5 lakh farmers across the state would now get covered under the health insurance scheme with the state government revising the number of beneficiaries from 5 lakh to 9.5 lakh. These farmers and their families will come under the the ambit of the health insurance cover under the Ayushman Bharat Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana for the year 2020-21, as against around 5 lakh covered in the previous year.
The scheme, launched by the state government on the Rajiv Gandhi birth anniversary on August 20, 2019, with 45 lakh families covered for 2019-2020, has proved to be highly beneficial to people of Punjab during the Covid crisis. The state government has also capped charges for Covid-19 treatment in hospitals empanelled under the Ayushman Bharat Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh while giving the formal go-ahead said that the beneficiaries can approach any of the 546 empanelled private hospitals and 208 government hospitals for treatment facility of up to Rs 5 lakh for 1,396 diseases, including major surgical treatments such as heart surgery, cancer treatment, joint replacement and accident cases under the health insurance scheme.
The number of farmers covered during the first year of the scheme stood at around 5 lakh, as these had been issued ‘J’ forms in 2015 by the Mandi Board. With 8.7 lakh farmers and 80,000 cane growers now registered with the Mandi Board as ‘J’ form holders, having sold their agricultural produce on/after January 1, 2020 and in November 1, 2019-March 31, 2020 sugar season, respectively, the farming families eligible for cover during 2020-21 has now gone up to 9.5 lakh. With the CM approving their inclusion in the scheme, all the 9.5 lakh will now be covered with effect from August 20, 2020, according to an official spokesperson.
The Mandi Board will pay the entire premium for the insurance cover of all the farmers, who will get cashless treatment facility up to Rs 5 lakh per annum. The scheme is set to cost Mandi Board Rs 120 crore annually. All the eligible farmers having ‘J’ forms and ‘sugarcane weightment slips’ would be required to submit their duly filled self-declaration, along with the other necessary documents, at the Market Committee office concerned or with the Commission Agent (Arhtiya) till July 24, 2020. The CM has asked Mandi Board chairman Lal Singh to direct the Market Committees to facilitate every farmer to avail this cashless treatment facility in a seamless manner.
Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Anirudh Tewari said that the Mandi Board has invited applications from the eligible farmers so as to ensure that every farmer is benefitted. The interested farmers can collect self-declaration form either from the office of Market Committee or Commission Agents (Arhtiyas) or download the same from the website of the Mandi Board http://www.mandiboard.nic.in. The Mandi Board shall upload the data on specially designated portal after receiving applications from the farmers and subsequently “Health Insurance Cards” would be issued to eligible farmers. He stated that scheme is cashless and all the ailments which require hospitalisation of more than 24 hour or listed day care procedure are covered under the scheme.
Tewari said that besides the family head, husband/wife, father/mother, unmarried children, divorced daughter and her minor children, widowed daughter-in-law and her minor children would be considered eligible to derive benefit under the scheme. Any further information can be sought from the toll-free no. 104 in this regard, the ACS (Development) added.
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