ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ayushman Bharat—Long Live Private Healthcare

The Ayushman Bharat—National Health Protection Mission’s sustainability is questionable.

A healthy population is a key contributor to the development of human capital, which, in turn, is the primary ingredient for growth. According to the World Bank, health expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in India was 3.8% in 2015. This was 16.8% for the United States and 9.9% for the world as a whole. Fifteen percent of the Indian population is insured, and 94% of the health expenditure is paid by individuals out of pocket. Hence, health shocks have the potential to drive individuals and families into perennial debt traps. Providing the poor with health insurance not only can improve the health of individuals, but it has much bigger potential positive spillovers. It might be the key to driving families out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

Against this backdrop, the Ayushman Bharat—National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM), also known as Modicare, generated a lot of interest. The AB-NHPM is to provide coverage of ₹ 5 lakh per family, targeting more than 100 million families belonging to the poor and vulnerable sections of the population, based on the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) database. One of the major departures from previous schemes like the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) is that the AB-NHPM will also provide primary care assistance by upgrading the government health centres. The insurance amount has also been increased to ₹ 5 lakh from ₹ 30,000. There are also plans of digitisation of the entire process, which would be largely borrowed from the Rajiv Aarogyasri Health Insurance Scheme in Andhra Pradesh. The government aims to cover 40% of the entire population.

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Updated On : 24th Jun, 2020
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