Coming on board with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) dubbed as ‘Modicare’, the Yogi Adityanath government has allocated Rs 4 billion for the ambitious scheme.
Modicare is estimated to cover nearly 11.8 million poor households consisting of 60 million people in Uttar Pradesh. Under the scheme, the Centre and the respective state would share the burden in the ratio of 60:40. It is touted as the world’s largest public-funded health insurance scheme, set to benefit over 500 million people in India.
“We have already allocated Rs 4 billion for Modicare and more funds would be made available if required,” UP health minister Sidharth Nath Singh told Business Standard on sidelines of the post cabinet meeting media briefing here recently. The Adityanath government would now sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre for Modicare, which is likely to be launched by August 2018 under 'Ayushman Bharat' banner. The PM has been keenly pushing for the smooth rollout of the programme.
“Modicare is the world’s most comprehensive free medical insurance net and would prove to be the game changer for India,” Singh observed. The state government would appoint ‘Ayushman Mitra’ as facilitators/interface between the targeted beneficiaries and the designated hospitals and insurance companies. The insurance companies would be selected through the e-tendering.
The scheme would provide cover of up to Rs 500,000 per family per year and is aimed at benefitting over 100 million poor and vulnerable households comprising 500 million people. In April 2018, Modi had unveiled the maiden Health and Wellness Centre under Ayushman Bharat in Chhattisgarh on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti.
In Union Budget 2018-19, finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced the plan to provide free health insurance to about 107.4 million poor households. The scheme proposes to identify beneficiary households on the basis of the 2011 socio economic caste census. However, Jaitley had not specifically allocated funds for the scheme. Later, the Centre had clarified that the states would also need to contribute towards the ambitious programme.
Compared to Modicare, the United States’ Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly termed as Obamacare and launched in 2010, had only targeted 50 million people. Thus, Modicare is 10 times the size of Obamacare. Modicare is estimated to incur about Rs 100 billon during 2018-19 and 2019-20 fiscals with the premium portion to be shared by the Centre and the state governments. The beneficiaries would be free to avail of benefits at the empaneled public and private hospitals.
The Centre would constitute Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Agency (AB-NHPMA), while the states and union territories are required to set-up a dedicated State Health Agency (SHA) for Modicare. In this regard, UP has already designated State Agency for Comprehensive Health and Integrated Services (SACHIS) for the purpose.