After Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Union Budget 2018 announced world’s largest healthcare program that seeks to provide a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year, to 50 crore poor and vulnerable Indians, Health Minister JP Nadda says that the Modicare Scheme is made with the intention to benefit common man. “This is not about BJP or Modi. It is Modiji’s commitment, Modicare, for the common man and it has to reach the common man,” Health Minister JP Nadda told Hindustan Times in response to a question asking whether even the opposition ruled states will come on board. Earlier , Arun Jaitley had said that while no one knows if Obamacare was a successful healthcare program, the government will ensure that Modicare becomes successful in every possible way.
The government aims to raise the mediclaim cover by up to 17 times from the existing Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) that caps it at Rs 30,000 per year. The NHPS (National Health Policy Scheme) is expected to cover 40% of India’s population with a budgetary outlay of Rs 2,000 crore in FY19. Explaining that the budget will not be a constraint, JP Nadda said, “We have keep aside Rs 2,000 crore (for Modicare) but budget is not an issue. It is a commitment we will keep. That is how we function. The dialysis programme had no budget, but it now gets Rs 900 crore every year. It took a full year for it to roll out.”
Under the scheme, the states will be given the option to adopt insurance company or a trust model as followed under the Central Government Health Insurance Scheme. “It’s up to them (the states) what models they are adopting, whether it is a trust model or a (private) insurance model. They will choose how they want to roll out with us. These are the aspects of the consultation going on with all states,” JP Nadda added. Notably, Some states are already having their own insurance models or are running trust-model health schemes.
Sharing the expected timeline of the rollout, JP Nadda said that the mission is likely to be rolled out by year-end. “We have taken our experiences of RSBY (Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna) to a mission mode. The appointment of a mission head will be done soon. It needs huge technical backing, so consultations with technical experts on aspects such as, what will be the safeguards, what will be the monitoring system etc are being finalized,” JP Nadda told the newspaper.