Swiftly at the heel of announcing the budget for healthcare, the investment to be channelled towards India’s much-needed public health insurance program has been announced as INR 16,717 crores during the first two years of the introduction of the scheme. The health insurance program is set to benefit 10 crore families under the poverty line.
Contribution from the Centre and States
“The centre’s share will be Rs. 10,498 crore and the states will spend around Rs. 6,219 crore,” Alok Saxena, joint secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and also supervising the rollout, communicated to BloombergQuint in a written statement. His statement went on to clarify further details, such as during the first year of the rollout, the government will expend INR 2,800 crores, while the states’ contribution will be INR 1,700 crores. In the second year, they will contribute INR 7,300 crores and INR 4,500 crores respectively.
What Does the Scheme Offer?
The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) has been widely dubbed ‘Modicare’ and seeks to raise the insurance ceiling to INR 5 lakhs per family. The insurance scheme will cover over 1,200 procedures, which includes all secondary and several tertiary conditions such as diabetes, cancer and cardiac diseases.
The Intent of the National Health Protection Scheme
Insurance penetration in India stands at 3.49% while the global average stands at 6.28%. India’s spend on healthcare also stands at 1.4% of its GDP while the global average stands at 5.9%.
According to World Bank statistics, about 62% of medical expenses are paid out-of-pocket in India. This means that almost 70 million people are pushed into poverty each year while trying to afford healthcare.
Prime Minister Modi’s public health scheme aims to provide medical welfare to the poor, insulating them from rising healthcare costs and by making healthcare affordable to those who cannot access health insurance policies.
A report from Crisil, a global ratings agency, says that as of March 2017, around 43.8 crore Indians were covered under various health insurance schemes in the country. This figure includes the 33.5 crore individuals covered under various government-sponsored schemes like the popular Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana. With the addition of the NHPS scheme, this number will increase to more than 65 crore individuals.