Modicare receives cabinet approval; rollout to begin soon

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The Union Cabinet of India on Wednesday approved the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission, popularly known as ‘Modicare’. This scheme aims to provide Rs.5 lakh worth of health insurance coverage for over 11 crore poor families in the country. With this approval, it is likely that the rollout of this scheme will begin soon and provide coverage for the underprivileged population of the country.

Modicare

This is the most ambitious scheme of the ruling NDA government, and it is estimated to cost more than Rs.12,000 crore for the government annually. While this program is mainly intended for the underprivileged section of the society at present, the coverage is likely to be expanded to the whole nation as a universal health insurance scheme.

The Rs.5 lakh sum insured amount available under Modicare will be provided on a family floater basis with the coverage available for all members of a family. The central government’s ongoing health insurance programs Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and Senior Citizens Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS) will be absorbed under Modicare once the rollout begins.

According to many industry experts, medical inflation in India is increasing at the rate of 15% to 20% per year. Even in this scenario, nearly 80% of the healthcare costs in India are paid through out-of-pocket expenses. Healthcare penetration in India is still very low, and a large chunk of the country’s population still do not have access to comprehensive health insurance coverage.

Without a proper healthcare plan, a major medical emergency resulted in a massive financial impact for poor and lower-middle-class families in the country. The main focus of Modicare will be to strengthen the public health system of the country and increase healthcare access to the poor and underprivileged people of India.

It is estimated that nearly 50 crore (more than 40% of the country’s population) people belonging to 11 crore households will benefit from this scheme. Once the official details are finalised, this scheme is expected to begin rollout from October onwards.

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