In Focus
HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, India

India unveils world's largest free health insurance programme

The scheme will cover over half a billion people.

India will roll out an ambitious universal healthcare scheme that will cover a staggering 500 million people, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In his recent Independence Day address, Modi said that the programme—known officially as Ayushman Bharat, but also dubbed as ‘Modicare’—will cover private hospitalisation costs for the country’s poor.

The scheme will provide an annual coverage of INR500,000 (USD7,000) per family for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation. It will include over 1,000 treatment packages.

According to the National Health Agency (NHA), no enrolment or payment of premium is necessary for households to be a part of the programme.
Meanwhile, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) expects that health insurance coverage in India will rise from 34% to 50% thanks to the program.

The expenditure incurred in premium payment will be shared between Central and State Governments. Ten major states are yet to sign up for the ambitious scheme.

They include Odisha, Punjab, Delhi, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Goa.

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