Health Insurance Scheme To Undergo A Face-lift For Wider Coverage

The Union Health Ministry is planning to restructure Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), therefore, making its coverage wider, intensive, and IT driven.

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    The scheme, which proposes private-public partnerships to create a “strong infrastructure,” will also be widened to cover 8-10 crore people below the poverty line with higher cash limits for treatment. At present, the cash limit is Rs. 30,000 a year for a family of five. The restructured scheme will draw together several disjointed schemes coordinated by different agencies under one umbrella, and is likely to become operational shortly.

    The Union Health Secretary B P Sharma, while speaking at the ninth Health Insurance Summit organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) states, “The new scheme would have more benefits and beneficiaries. MoUs would be entered with the state governments. Those states which want to extend the services to people above poverty line and provide secondary and tertiary benefits could do so as a top up of the scheme."

    He also added that the strong IT platform is an important feature of this new scheme. It would help create a large database that will contain information of facilities at every hospital, disease profile and other details, and would immensely help every stakeholder. 

    Apart from universal coverage and affordability, the scheme will also lay stress on preventive care, such as free check-ups once in three years for the age group vulnerable to cardiac diseases and diabetes.

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