To deal with the menace of fake Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme websites, Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Monday said the government was serious on cracking them and had come up with a foolproof plan to avoid duplication of beneficiaries. Launching the logo of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, which was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech, Nadda said there would be a QR code in each letter through which beneficiaries would be identified.
“We are very serious about cracking against fake websites, there is no need for enrolment and no payment of fee is required. There will be a QR code in each letter through which beneficiaries will be identified. Once a family is verified, a card will be given to them,” Nadda said.
Even before the announcement of the scheme, a clutch of fake Ayushman Bharat-NHPM websites — many of them bearing “Pradhan Mantri” or “PM” in their names — and WhatsApp forwards asking people to enroll for the scheme had surfaced, sending the Health Ministry into a tizzy.
The national rollout of the PMJAY scheme will happen on September 25, the birth anniversary of RSS ideologue Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay. Nadda said the Rs 5 lakh health insurance and assurance scheme will cover about 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families as listed in the socio-economic caste census data. The Health Minister further said that all government hospitals were deemed to be empanelled under the scheme, while the process of empanelment for private hospitals was on.
Clearing the air on the facilities under the ambit of the health insurance scheme, Nadda said all the cost of diagnostic procedures and drugs three days before hospitalisation and two days after discharge would be covered. “Treatment at government hospitals is free but there are fees that are charged. That will be covered under the scheme. Pre-authorisation for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana will be done in half an hour,” Nadda said.
Nadda said the Centre had consulted with state governments about the scheme before seeking Cabinet approval. Initially, states such as West Bengal, Delhi, Odisha, Punjab and Karnataka had made noises about opting out. “We first consulted with states then went to the cabinet. This is cooperative federalism,” he said.
The funding for the scheme will be shared – 60:40 for all states and UTs with their own legislature, 90:10 in NE states and the three Himalayan states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and Uttarakhand and 100 per cent Central funding for UTs without a legislature.
The minister also said that states had been given the leverage to decide on the mode of implementation. “They can go for insurance model or trust model or mixed model. Benefits will be portable across the country, payments will be done cashless and paperless to panel hospitals,” he said, adding that there would be 94 controls at various levels to protect personal data.
Under the trust model, the premium will not be paid to an insurance company but will be pooled into a trust. Under the insurance model, the state will pay premiums to an insurance company just like you do to your health insurer. The onus will be on the insurer to administer and pay the claims.