National Health Protection Scheme: National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) was termed as a big move in Union Budget 2018 by the Narendra Modi government. Even the international media hailed the move. However, reportedly certain questions were raised about the source of the fund. It has been learnt that state governments may have to bear a substantial amount. The figure is estimated at Rs 4,330 crore, according to Indian Express report. After intricate and extensive calculation, it has emerged that annual premium will be Rs 1,082 per family. State governments Rs 433 per family. Notably, under the scheme 10 crore “poor” households will be provided a health cover of Rs 5 lakh each. The scheme is said to be the world’s largest government-funded health care programme.
It has been learnt that the Union Health Ministry and Niti Aayog have already initiated the process of having dialogues with states. E-mails have been sent and video-conferencing with each states have begun, accoriding to Indian Express report. A senior health ministry official said that insurance companies will quote a premium based on expected user base and the availability of health facilities in the vicinity. The official said that in areas where hospitals are far the quote will automatically be lower. If a certain area is serviced only by government hospitals, that would again affect calculations.
After the Budget 2018, Health Minister J P Nadda had allayed concerns about the funding of the NHPS. Nadda today assured that finances will never be a problem and said the Centre was working out the nitty-gritties of the programe. “We will give the details but not today. We are working on the nitty-gritties. We have to work that out with all other departments as well. We will give the details (later),” Nadda said. Nadda also had said that the cemtral government will pay for the premium with state’s share. “For this Rs 2,000 crore has been kept for it as of now,” Nadda said.
Asked who will pay the premium for the scheme, Nadda said that the government will pay for the premium with state’s share. “For this Rs 2,000 crore has been kept for it as of now,” Nadda said. The National Health Protection Scheme, announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday in his Budget 2018 speech, will cover approximately 50 crore people. “History is witness that whatever we (the BJP-led government) have committed, we have completed. That is why finance is not the problem, has never been the problem and will never remain a problem,” Nadda said. Asked about an earlier scheme where the central government had announced a Rs 1-lakh coverage, Nadda said that under that programme, there were only four crore beneficiaries, whose number has been enhanced now.