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National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)
Aug 23, 2016

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence day speech, has announced that government is working on a health insurance scheme for poor.

  • Right now, named as National Health Protection Scheme will provide a health insurance cover of up to Rs. 1 Lakh to the poor.
  • Originally announced in the budget speech this year, the Health Ministry has already prepared a Cabinet note on the scheme and will circulate it soon.
  • The central government would incur an expenditure of up to Rs. 1 lakh for providing healthcare services to poor.
  • The scheme has already obtained the approval from Expenditure Finance Committee.
  • Under the scheme, an additional top-up package of Rs. 30,000 will be provided to senior citizens in this category.
  • The scheme is estimated to cost Rs. 24,000 Crores to the government for 5 years.
  • The scheme is projected to benefit about 10 Crore families in the first phase.
  • The main beneficiaries of the scheme would be the families belonging to the BPL category or those in the list of deprivations as per socio-economic caste census data.
  • This may work like a floater policy which considers the entire family as one unit. So, if one member of the family makes use of the cover, the sum insured, in this case Rs.1 lakh, will reduce by that much amount.

This is a positive move and an improvement over the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) scheme. RSBY was successful, but the cover was only Rs.30,000 for a family of five. The premiums were shared by the Centre and the state, and individuals had to pay Rs.30 only. The policy did not include outpatient care and had packaged rates negotiated with the hospital.


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