BENGALURU: Arogya Bhagya, the state’s flagship Universal Health Coverage (UHC) scheme to provide health care to the state’s population, irrespective of the individual’s BPL or APL status, will be rolled out on February 24, Health Minister Ramesh Kumar told reporters here on Friday. It was supposed to be rolled out on November 1, 2017 on the occasion of Kannada Rajyotsava, but the deadline was missed because the Finance Department did not approve it in time. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is expected to announce the rollout in the state budget on February 16.
The scheme is expected to benefit 1.3 crore families, and cost the exchequer Rs 869.4 crore to integrate all the existing schemes. Category A, comprising about one crore and five lakh households, will include farmers, teachers of aided schools, anganwadi workers, Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, sanitation workers, unorganised workers, public servants and accredited media professionals who wouldn’t have to make any contribution towards the scheme which provides for treatment up to `1.5 lakh in government and private hospitals.
Around 30 lakh households which do not come under the above categories will be enrolled in the scheme when they apply online with their Aadhaar details; those in rural areas will need to contribute `300 per person and those in urban areas Rs 700 per person.
Around 516 types of complicated secondary care procedures which will be referred to private hospitals will be free for Category A, while Category B beneficiaries can get 30 per cent of the cost reimbursed by the state. A 30 per cent reimbursement can also be received by Category B beneficiaries for 663 tertiary care procedures.
Seven existing schemes — Vajpayee Arogyasri, Yashaswini, Jyothi Sanjeevini, Mukhyamantri Santwana Harish scheme, Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram, Rajiv Arogya Bhagya and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) — are being merged under the UHC scheme.
“Arogya Bhagya prevents overlapping of health schemes and duplication. Assurance is better than insurance. We have not received funds that were announced by the Union government last year. They should try to control the private sector. NITI Aayog is trying to privatise government sector. They have a moral obligation to strengthen public health systems,” Ramesh Kumar said.
“Insurance is not the way to go for the government. There is no scope for bogus claims to be generated under Arogya Bhagya as the rates are pre-determined by the government and only when patients cannot be treated in public health facilities they will be referred to private facilities,” Kumar told The New Indian Express.
Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley clarified on Friday that Ayushman Bharat will not be based on a reimbursement model but for a cashless model. As per the initial corpus of Rs 2,000 crore, if 50 crore people are to be covered then a premium of Rs 40 can be paid.
WHAT’S ON OFFER
It will benefit 1.3 crore families
Cost to exchequer K869 cr
Treatment up to Rs 1.5 lakh in govt & pvt hospitals
Seven existing schemes are being merged under the UHC scheme
Rural areas: Rs 300 a person
Urban areas: Rs 700 a person