30 crore beneficiary cards generated through the Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance (PMJAY) Scheme

Photo: Special Arrangement

Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance is a scheme launched in September 2018 by the Government of India to offer healthcare to millions of Indians, who cannot afford the expensive healthcare costs. The scheme offers cashless and paperless access to medical treatment and procedures to people at all levels, regardless of their financial difficulties. This initiative has prioritized the masses in India, which is improving the quality of health care services and reducing financial stress in the health sector.

PMJAY – Benefits and coverage

One of the significant accomplishments of the Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance scheme is the 30 crore beneficiaries cards generated through National Health Authority (NHA) registration. The NHA is the apex body responsible for the implementation and management of the insurance scheme, which includes ongoing registration and issuance of beneficiary identity cards. The NHA beneficiary cards signify the registration of individuals under the Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance scheme, enabling them to benefit from the PMJAY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana) initiative by the Government of India.

The PMJAY as part of Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance provides medical coverage regarding hospitalization, medical interventions, critical illnesses, and surgeries, with an insurance coverage limit of up to Rs 5 Lakh. The insurance policy can be availed by low-income groups or economically weaker sections (EWS) across the country. The primary objective of the PMJAY initiative is to strengthen health infrastructure, reduce the financial burden of medical treatment on the poor, and improve health outcomes in India.

Online registration for PMJAY

Around 30 crore beneficiaries have received the Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance Beneficiary cards, which signifies their registration under the scheme. The beneficiaries would be entitled to the insurance policy under PMJAY to avail themselves of medical treatment for critical illnesses, hospitalization, or surgeries. The NHA has been continuously working to register beneficiaries under the scheme, as the registration process is ongoing. The NHA has used multiple registration methods to reach out to the beneficiaries, including government databases, reference databases, offline registration, and CSC (Common Service Centres) registration.

The registration method using government databases is one of the primary ways in which beneficiaries were identified and registered under the scheme. The government databases typically contain information on socio-economic status, bank accounts, insurance policy, and demographic details, including family structure. This method of registration helps the NHA to identify potential beneficiaries of the Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance scheme and generate beneficiary cards to enable the beneficiaries to avail themselves of the PMJAY insurance policy.

Another useful registration method employed by the NHA is the reference database method. The reference databases usually contain the medical history, insurance policies, and healthcare needs of individuals and families. The NHA reaches out to people who require health care coverage and identifies potential beneficiaries to generate beneficiary cards. This method of registration is ideal for families or individuals who do not have any previous information about them or may not have registered under government databases.

Offline registration for PMJAY

The offline registration method is another alternative for registering beneficiaries from remote locations or those without any internet access. The NHA has worked to establish common service center points around India to capture the offline registrations and ensure that the beneficiaries receive the Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance beneficiary cards. Registration through CSCs is accessible to individuals and families without access to the internet and is a secure method of registration.

The Common Service Centre (CSC) registration is also an initiative by the Government of India, aimed at the digitization of rural India through e-Governance services. The CSCs offer medical and insurance services to the rural population, and the registration for Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance beneficiary cards is done through these centres. The offline and CSC initiative for registration has played a significant role in registering beneficiaries from remote areas, reaching sections of the population that may not have otherwise registered under government databases.

The process of registration of beneficiaries under the Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance scheme and distribution of beneficiary cards has witnessed a continuous strengthening of the health care infrastructure in India. Hospitals, nursing homes, healthcare clinics, and diagnostic centres across the country have been empanelled to accept Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance. The empanelment of private healthcare providers is a significant accomplishment of the scheme as it enables the insured beneficiaries to choose the medical practitioner or hospital they prefer.

The Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance scheme through PMJAY is now being implemented as a cashless and paperless initiative in the country. Beneficiaries who have the Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance beneficiary cards can walk into any of the empanelled medical centres nationwide and receive medical treatment.

The scheme has significantly reduced the financial strain on poorer households, which lead to a significant burden to the family's finances. According to a report by the Indian Journal of Public Health, 55% of hospitalized patients had to borrow money or sell assets to obtain healthcare, leading to vast levels of indebtedness and poverty. The Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance scheme has helped alleviate those costs, and the beneficiaries receive medical treatment of excellent quality without incurring any financial burden.

In conclusion, the generation of 30 crore beneficiary cards under the Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance scheme is a significant milestone in the Government of India's objective towards providing quality health care and insurance coverage for the poor. The NHA has ensured that potential beneficiaries are registered under the scheme and provided with beneficiary cards that enable them to avail themselves of the PMJAY insurance policy. This insurance policy has successfully reduced the financial burden of medical treatment on poor households and has strengthened the healthcare infrastructure across India to provide high-quality health services, leading to long-term health outcomes.

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