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Govt mulling over universal health insurance plan

Govt mulling over universal health insurance plan

Government is reported to be considering a universal health insurance plan to accommodate its plan to provide health insurance coverage access to all.

After the recent success of their social security schemes launched in the beginning of this year, the health insurance plan is in the interim stage of discussions with the states. Government has also earlier provided life cover and accident cover.

At the initial stage, the government is focused to provide a seamless solution to the existing cashless health schemes in states by integrating those with the Centre’s direct benefits transfer (DBT) platform.

There are current rounds of discussion reported with states providing cashless health insurance, such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, and explore the idea of linking through the DBT platform.

As implied by a statement given by a government official to Business Standard, the government is keen to provide SMS and phone call notifications on money transfers using the DBT platform. A web or smart phone app is also under development to facilitate the idea of a completely cashless digital economy. The health insurance application will also be used on this platform.

Under the DBT platform, the Centre’s JAM trinity (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and mobiles) and the subsidy payment platform will be accessed by the states. With no intermediaries in the process, Aadhaar will be used in direct biometric identification of targeted citizens. In addition, Jan Dhan bank accounts and mobile phones will help in direct transfer of funds.

As exactly reported by BS, “Many states are providing cashless health insurance. If they give us the list of beneficiaries, they could plug into the DBT platform; that will facilitate accessibility and payment,” said the official quoted earlier.

Tamil Nadu, for instance, provides the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme through United India Insurance Company for people from the low income group, and New Health Insurance Scheme for cashless treatment of state government employees.

Karnataka has its Yeshasvini Health Insurance Scheme, covering both rural and urban population, mainly targeting farmers and labourers. The state also offers Jyothi Sanjeevini Scheme, a health insurance cover for government employees.

The Rajasthan government recently launched a cashless health insurance scheme to cover over 10 million people by tying up with New India Insurance.

Similarly, Punjab last month unveiled a compulsory health insurance scheme for all government employees and pensioners. Over 190 million bank accounts have been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana; these have deposits of more than Rs 26,819 crore.

Source: with inputs from Business Standard
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