After the announcement of the Union Budget 2020-21 on 1st February, there were no significant changes made to the government’s flagship health insurance program – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).
However, the authorities are expected to use only half of the budget that was initially allocated to the scheme. According to the revised Budget, the PMJAY scheme has been allocated INR 3200 crore, which is less than the initial estimation INR 6400 crore.
Among the initially allocated amount, INR 6200 crore was supposed to come from the National Investment Fund (NIF). Moreover, the money received will not be in the form of gross budgetary support. The NIF was established by the government in 2005 so that they can channelize the proceeds from the disinvestment of Central Public Sector Enterprises.
The proceeds collected were primarily supposed to be utilized for investment in other state-owned companies, several infrastructure projects and recapitalization of public sector banks and insurance companies. However, the same was used by the United Progressive Alliance government (between the year 2008 and 2013) for social sector schemes. This information was collected by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management website for NIF.
Since the funds allocated to the PMJAY scheme are still under-utilized, it only indicates the lack of secondary and tertiary hospitals in smaller towns and rural areas of the country.
The government-funded PMJAY scheme was established in September 2008. The primary aim of the scheme is to offer free health care services to the poor and vulnerable families across India. As of now, over 10 crore families have been helped under the AB-PMJAY scheme (that is approx. 50 crore beneficiaries).
Even since the launch of the PMJAY scheme, only 8.1 million hospitalizations have been utilized under the plan. This is mainly due to the lack of empaneled hospitals. To tackle this problem, the finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, stated in her Budget speech that the proceeds from taxes on medical devices will be used to fund the health infrastructure in 112 needed districts.
This will allow to broaden the scope of the PMJAY scheme and reach out to more people in need of adequate health insurance. The beneficiaries are identified by the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011.
So, before you proceed to Ayushman Bharat Yojana registration, it is essential to check whether you and your family are eligible under the scheme. After you know that you have qualified under the same, you can proceed with the application and registration process. Upon successful registration, you and other beneficiaries will be issued an e-card, which can then be used to avail the benefits under the PMJAY scheme.
Lastly, whether or not you are eligible under this government-funded scheme, every individual should have adequate health insurance. You can browse and compare different plans available online and choose one that provides enough coverage and is affordable for you.