The government's National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), which was announced in this year's Union Budget, is likely to be implemented from October 2.
A senior official from the NITI Aayog told ANI on condition of anonymity that the scheme is likely to be rolled out on or before Gandhi Jayanti.
Hailed as the world's largest health insurance program, the NHPS or Ayushman Bharat was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech on Thursday, and aims to increase the insurance cover, particularly for the poor.
The scheme envisages to cover a total of nearly 10 crore families or 50 crore beneficiaries, with a sum of Rs 5, 00,000 per family per year, and a premium of Rs 1000-1200 per year, which will be borne by the government and state in a 60-40 ratio.
The NITI Aayog while addressing a press conference on Friday said there will be no restrictions on the size of a family. Furthermore, this citizen-centric scheme will permit secondary and tertiary treatment in empanelled hospitals across the nation.
In order to test eligibility, a citizen may register with Aadhaar card details, and subsequently, can avail medical treatment in any state, irrespective of where he/she belongs.
In terms of implementation, the NITI Aayog said either a trust mode or insurance company mode will be adopted. It further stated that the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, a government-run health insurance programme for the poor, will be subsumed under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
On a related note, Finance Minister Jaitley in his Budget speech on Thursday announced that a sum of upto Rs 5,00,000 will be provided to 10 crore poor families in India per year, which is expected to reach around 50 crore beneficiaries, and will be used for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.
Furthermore, Rs 1,200 crores will be allocated towards setting up health and wellness centers in India, which will provide comprehensive healthcare, maternal and child care, free drugs and diagnostics to the poor. The government has also invited private sector contribution towards the same.
Jaitley also announced that a sum of Rs 600 crore will be provided for nutritional support to tuberculosis patients at a rate of Rs 500 per month.