It is going to be the NDA health flagship in an election year but the credits for the National Health Protection Mission (NHPM) will have to be shared with the states.
With states, especially those ruled by non-BJP parties having made it clear that there is no way they would give up their own brands of health programmes, Ayushman Bharat, which is the umbrella programme including NHPM and a preventive healthcare component, will be rolled out as an “alliance” with the state health programmes. So in Telangana, Ayushman Bharat will be in alliance with Aarogyashri, in Tamil Nadu, it will be in alliance with the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme and in Maharashtra it will be in alliance with the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana.
The first meeting of Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission Council (AB-NHPMC) that will give policy directions and foster coordination between Centre and States will happen in Delhi on June 14. Chaired by Health minister J P Nadda, the council will be the federal forum for states to voice concerns. The Union Health Ministry is in the process of sending out invites to state health ministers to attend the first meeting.
Announced in the Budget this year, NHPM (since referred to as Ayushman Bharat-NHPM) aims to provide an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh to 10.74 crore families. Under the preventive health component of Ayushman Bharat, 1,53,000 health and wellness centres will be set up across the country. Beneficiaries for AB-NHPM will be identified on the basis of deprivation and occupational criteria as per Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 data.
“The issue of co-branding has already been decided so Ayushman Bharat will be in alliance with Arogyashri in Telangana or Swasthyasathi in West Bengal and so on. The memorandum of understanding has been signed with 15 states and this has been built into the document,” said a senior official in Ayushman Bharat setup.
All the state health schemes will continue to run. This means that in states where the existing list of beneficiaries is larger than the beneficiary list as per SECC data, while the Centre will pay 60 per cent of the premium for beneficiaries listed as per SECC data, the states would be free to pay the premium for the others from their own resources.
States would need to have their own State Health Agency to implement the scheme. They have the option to use an existing Trust / Society / Not for Profit Company/ State Nodal Agency or set up a new one. The total expenditure on the programme will depend on actual market-determined premium paid in States or UTs where AB-NHPM will be implemented through insurance companies. In States or UTs where the scheme will be implemented through a trust or society, the central share of funding will be provided based on actual expenditure or premium ceiling, whichever is lower.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines