New Delhi: The government has prepared a new health plan for more than 400 million people deprived of medical insurance (Medical Insurance) facilities in the country. The government has also identified 21 insurance companies for the same. The government plans to sign MoU between the National Health Authority (NHA) and insurance companies before the pilot project begins. These companies will offer more subsidised cover to families.
It may be recalled that the benefits of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana are currently being availed by about 50crore poor families. It provides an insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to the entire family. Talking to media, a senior government official said that companies will provide 'PMJAY clone cover' to 400 million additional people on voluntary basis. He explained that these group covers will be for families who do not have any medical insurance. It will also be a big step towards universal health coverage (UHC). PMJAY scheme covers 3 crore people in various schemes of states in addition to 50crore poor people. 15-17 crore are included in central schemes like ECHS, ESCI and CGHS. While, 140 million people chose the way to get insurance in private companies at their own expense.
Even then, more than 400 million people are left out, who do not have any medical cover. These are called 'missing middle'. This means people who cannot buy insurance themselves nor get the benefit of a government scheme. The government feels that due to lack of medical cover in view of the covid, these 'missing middle' health expenses could lead to poverty. In a recent presentation, a senior adviser to the National Health Authority cited a number of reasons, including lack of awareness about not buying medical insurance cover, low coverage, expensive products, expenses.
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