The Ministries of Finance and Health will hold first meeting this month on National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) to discuss the modalities of its implementation, including whether to rope in insurance firms or set up a trust to settle claims. The scheme, which would be the world’s largest government healthcare programme, was announced in 2018-19 Budget for providing medical cover of up to ₹5 lakh to over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, constituting 40% of India’s total population.
“It would be deliberated on whether National Health Protection Scheme will be run through trust-based model or through general insurance companies,” an official told PTI.
Certain States are already successfully running healthcare schemes using trust-based model. Under this model, a trust will be set up by the government with funds being contributed by the Centre and States, which will settle hospital claims of beneficiaries, instead of the insurers.
The Health Ministry will draft the scheme, which is likely to be unveiled either on August 15 or October 2, after consultation with States. There are States which run schemes for specific illnesses and it would be discussed how to streamline those along with NHPS.
“The Health Ministry would discuss with States on how to go about with the existing state-run schemes once the NHPS is implemented. At the central level, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana would be subsumed within NHPS,” he added.