Punjab rolls out Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana, to cover 76% population
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh launched his government’s flagship universal health insurance scheme — Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana — benefiting nearly 46 lakh families, in Mohali on Tuesday.
E-cards were handed over to the first 11 beneficiaries from Mohali district to kick off the scheme, which would entitle beneficiaries to avail annual cashless treatment up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year, including pre-existing diseases.
With this scheme, covering 76% of the state’s population, Punjab has become the first state in the country to offer medical insurance cover to the maximum number of its people, the CM said.
A few months ago, the state government decided to extend the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) to provide cashless health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year to more 31 lakh families.
Cost being borne by Centre and state
While the cost of the premium of Rs 14.86 lakh families originally covered under PMJAY, as per Socio Economic and Caste Census
2011 data, is being borne by the Centre and state in the 60:40 ratio. For the rest of the beneficiaries the state will bear the entire cost of the premium.
Speaking on the occasion, the CM said it took his government several months to draw the roadmap for the implementation of the cashless treatment scheme to cover 76% of its population, in sharp contrast to the 12% that would have been covered otherwise under the Central government’s PMJAY. Similar schemes in other states had covered up to a mere 30% of their population, he said.
Giving details of the Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana, the CM said it would cover 20.43 lakh smart ration card holder families, in addition to 14.86 lakh families enrolled as per Socio Economic Caste Census data, 4.94 lakh farmer families, 2.8 lakh small farmers and more than 2.38 lakh construction workers registered with the state construction welfare board, besides 46,000 small traders.
The scheme has also been extended to around 4,500 journalists accredited by the state or holding yellow cards.
Equipped with specially designed 1,396 treatment packages, the scheme will be implemented through more than 450 empanelled hospitals, including 200 government hospitals.
Of the total premium of Rs 333 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana, the state’s share is 83%, which amounts to Rs 276 crore, while the Union government will pay the remaining Rs 57 crore.
Surgical packages under the scheme also include the cost of pre-hospitalisation for three days and post-hospitalisation for 15 days.
Health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that in case a patient is not carrying his e-card, he can go to any empanelled hospital and can meet “aarogya mitra”, who will generate his e-card on the spot and facilitate cashless treatment.