Health Insurance for Rural India

Healthcare is expensive in India and is increasing with each passing day. Besides, India is a hotspot for diseases, be it lifestyle diseases or infectious diseases. The severity of the illness dictates the medical expenses incurred for the treatment. However, getting the right treatment at the right time is a challenge for people living in rural India. Only health insurance can help people living in rural areas to afford quality medical expenses at the right time.

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    Health Insurance Situation in Rural India

    Most people in rural areas live below the poverty line. It is difficult for them to afford food two times a day, let alone buy a health insurance policy. As a result, they consider buying health insurance an unnecessary expense, which is why most people living in rural areas do not have a health insurance policy.

    However, the financial situation of people living in rural India does not overrule the fact they are the most vulnerable to diseases. A lot of people living in rural areas do not have access to basic sanitation facilities. Not everyone follows proper hand hygiene and may end up consuming contaminated water more frequently than people in urban areas.

    Moreover, healthcare facilities are limited in rural India. Although there are health & wellness centres as well as primary health centres available in rural areas, treatment of critical diseases cannot be done there. The patient will have to move to a government hospital in the city or avail treatment at the nearest private hospital. In both cases, the expenditure may be difficult to afford by most of the rural population. 

    Therefore, the need for rural health insurance for people living in India is essential.

    Health Insurance Plans for Rural People in India

    Buying a regular health insurance policy is impossible for people living in rural areas with limited income. To deal with the issue, central and state governments have launched several health insurance schemes that offer medical coverage to lower-income groups. Take a look at the various rural health insurance plans available in India:

    1. Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY)

    The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana offers free medical insurance coverage to families below the poverty line. This scheme covers hospitalization expenses along with transportation costs. It allows the beneficiaries to avail cashless treatments and covers all pre-existing diseases. The beneficiary family of up to five members receive a Rs 30,000 cover on a floater sum insured basis.

    2. Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY)

    The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana provides a free Rs 5 lakh health cover to poor and vulnerable families. It is one of the largest health insurance schemes in India that covers the cost of secondary and tertiary hospitalization. It covers pre-existing diseases from day 1 and allows cashless treatment at both public and private hospitals. Moreover, there is no restriction on age, gender or family size under the policy.

    3. Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Insurance Scheme

    The Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Insurance Scheme provides health insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh to low-income families of Tamil Nadu. It covers the cost of hospitalization, diagnostic procedures and several procedures. The beneficiaries can also avail cashless hospitalization facilities at network hospitals. Moreover, they are also eligible for free health check-ups.

    4. Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Jan Arogya Yojana

    The Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Jan Arogya Yojana is a health insurance scheme launched by the Maharashtra government to provide cashless treatment to poor families in the state. It offers a health cover of Rs 1.5 lakh to each beneficiary family to cover the cost of surgeries, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, consultations, etc. The scheme covers pre-existing diseases right from day 1 and allows beneficiaries to access to government healthcare camps.

    5. Mukhyamantri Amrutum Yojana

    The Mukhyamantri Amrutum Yojana is a health insurance scheme that covers people living below the poverty line in Gujarat. The scheme covers medical expenses of the beneficiary family of up to Rs 5 lakh per annum, which includes hospitalization, transportation, surgery, diagnostic, medicines, etc. The policy offers cashless treatment along with access to health camps at empanelled government and private hospitals.

    6. Karunya Health Scheme

    The Karunya Health Scheme provides a free health cover of Rs 5 lakh to poor and vulnerable families of Kerala. The scheme covers the cost of secondary and tertiary hospitalization that can be availed on a cashless basis at both public and private empanelled hospitals. It also covers the medical expenses incurred on 1573 procedures along with pre & post-hospitalization expenses, ICU charges, diagnostic fees, etc. Moreover, pre-existing disease coverage is available from day 1 under this scheme.

    7. Dr YSR Aarogyasri Health Care Trust

    The Dr YSR Aarogyasri Health Care Trust offers a healthcare scheme for the people living below the poverty line in Andhra Pradesh. The scheme provides the beneficiary family with a health cover of Rs 5 lakh that can be availed at government hospitals on a cashless basis. It offers coverage for in-patient hospitalization, OPD consultations, transportation, surgeries, etc. It also provides coverage for pre-existing diseases.

    In a Nutshell

    People living in rural India cannot afford to buy a regular health insurance policy and thus, compromise on their healthcare. But with the above-mentioned government health insurance schemes, people belonging to low-income groups can avail quality treatment without paying any premium. Therefore, if you live in rural areas of India, make sure to get yourself and your family enrolled in one of these healthcare schemes.

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