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Free Testing and Treatment for Covid-19

  • 06 Apr 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Central government has decided to provide free testing and treatment of coronavirus under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme or the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).

Key Points

  • Objective:
    • To increase the supply of testing and treatment facilities.
    • To increase access by roping in the private sector through AB-PMJAY as per the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines.
  • It will help more than 50 crore Ayushman beneficiaries to avail free testing and timely and standard treatment in designated private hospitals across India.
  • It will significantly expand government’s capacities and mitigate the adverse impact of this pandemic on the poor.
  • States have already enlisted private sector hospitals to convert them into Covid-19 only hospitals.
    • Hospitals can use their own authorised testing facilities or tie up with an authorised testing facility for the scheme.
    • These tests would be carried out as per the protocol set by ICMR and by private labs approved/registered by the ICMR.
  • Information on symptoms, testing and treatment for the disease can be accessed from the website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and by calling the national Covid-19 helpline 1075.

Ayushman Bharat

  • It is a government-sponsored health insurance scheme which provides free coverage of up to ₹5 lakh per family per year at any government or even empanelled private hospitals all over India for secondary and tertiary medical care facilities.
  • Modicare is available for 74 crore beneficiary families and about 50 crore Indian citizens. Under the process, 80 percent of beneficiaries, based on the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data in the rural and the urban areas, have been identified.
  • There is no restriction on the basis of family size, age or gender.
  • Ayushman Bharat is unlike other medical insurance schemes where there is a waiting period for pre-existing diseases. All kinds of diseases are covered from day one of the Ayushman Bharat policy. The benefit cover includes both pre and post hospitalization expenses.
  • The expenditure incurred in premium payment will be shared between Central and State Governments in a specified ratio. The funding for the scheme is shared – 60:40 for all states and UTs with their own legislature, 90:10 in Northeast states and Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and Uttarakhand and 100% Central funding for UTs without legislature.
  • It draws additional resources from the Health and Education Cess and also depends on funding from States to boost the Central allocation. The premiums are in the range of ₹1,000-₹1,200 per annum.
  • It pays for the hospitalisation costs of its beneficiaries through strategic purchasing from public and private hospitals.

Source: TH

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