Government Health Insurance Schemes in India
According to a report presented by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence in the supervision of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the year 2015-16, only 27% of Indian population possesses any kind of health insurance (which includes public and private both the sectors). This means approximately 100 crore people in India do not have a health cover against any catastrophic health issue.
This data for sure shows the poor condition of the healthcare sector in India. However, in one of the populous nations, where 67% population is poor and starves for basic necessities, it is unfair to expect people to invest in health insurance. To keep this in mind, the government of India time to time launches different health insurance schemes. These national health insurance schemes are affordable and provide moderate cover against medical emergencies.
Many people, who belong to middle-income group, go for government as well as private health insurance policies. For better assistance and hassle-free purchase of such schemes, there are many web aggregators, where one can compare, buy and renew health insurance online.
Below mentioned are five Indian Government health insurance plans that anyone can apply:
- RashtriyaSwasthiya Bima Yojana (RSBY): This scheme was launched by the Government of India’s Minister of Labor and Employment to offer health insurance benefits to the families that are Below Poverty Line (BPL). An insured gets the cover against health expenses (primarily hospitalization) for up to Rs.30, 000. Registration fees of Rs.30/- needs to be paid by the beneficiaries whereas the State and Central Governments pay the premium to the insurance provider. Generally, the insurance providers of these schemes are selected by the Government of the State through bidding. This scheme covers up to five members of a family which includes a head of the family, spouse, and maximum three dependents. Cashless hospitalization is another benefit that a beneficiary gets under this scheme. However, the hospitalization must be in any of the network hospitals across India.
- Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS): This insurance policy of Government of India offers comprehensive medical facilities to the employees of Central Government, the pensioners, and their dependents. However, these people should live in the cities covered in CGHS. There are wellness centers (also known as CGHS dispensaries)in most of the cities of India from where a beneficiary can take Allopathic, Homeopathic, Yoga, Ayurveda, Sidha, and Unani system medicines.
- Employment State Insurance Scheme (ESIS): It is basically a system to provide multi-dimensional healthcare security to the worker population of India and their families. This scheme not only offers complete medical care to a person and his/her dependents, but it also offers financial advantages. An insured (beneficiary) is entitled to take cash benefits in case of earning capability loss occurred due to permanent or temporary disablement, sickness-causing physical distress, etc. Generally, a factory or an organization (shop, restaurant, hotel, cinema, etc.) with an employee strength of 10 or more can opt for this scheme for its employees. Here, the employer pays 4.75%, whereas the employee pays 1.75% of the wages earned by an employee who is earning not more than 21,000/ every month.
- Universal Health Insurance Scheme (UHIS): This health insurance scheme is to provide healthcare facilities to the poor families. To launch this scheme, four general insurance companies of the public sector have joined their hands. Under this scheme reimbursement of Rs.30, 000/- is given to the insured and his/her family against medical expenses caused due to hospitalization. Death of the earning member of the family due to an accident is covered in this scheme, under which the family is given Rs.25, 000/- as compensation. Moreover, the family gets Rs.50/- per day for a maximum of 15 days on the death of the main earning person of the family. Basically, this scheme is designed for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. The premium here is increased from Rs.100 to Rs.200 for an individual and for the family having five members it is increased to Rs.300 and Rs.400 for a family with seven members.
- Ayushman Bharat: To offer comprehensive medical care to the deprived and poor rural families of India, this health insurance scheme will be launched by the Government of India around September’2018. Under this scheme, a comprehensive medical care of up to Rs.5 Lakh per year will be given to per family for tertiary and secondary care hospitalization. This scheme will be available in public hospitals as well as chosen private hospitals with no cap on the family size.
For better health care and safeguard oneself against any financial crisis during a medical emergency, any Indian national can apply for any of these public plans. Moreover, one can renew these plans as well. Additionally, in 27% population who has health insurance policies are those who as well own private health insurance plans and they can buy or renew health insurance on policybazaar.
Final Words: Even though these initiatives of Indian Government are there since long, but lack of knowledge about them among the underprivileged population is one of the biggest hindrances in their success. Therefore, before launching more and more schemes, the Government should now spread awareness about the existing health insurance plans among common people of India.
Advertisement on TV and radio, banners, and holdings in rural areas can help to aware people about such healthcare plans. Awareness is the only way to make these health insurance plans successful and make India a progressive nation in all the aspects.