Today, in Karnataka, the JD(S)-Congress has softened its stand on the implementation of Ayushman Bharat, the national health protection scheme launched by Centre. The Karnataka government is also planning to blend the scheme with its Arogya Karnataka healthcare programme.
When implemented, the combined insurance scheme will offer healthcare coverage worth Rs. 5 Lakhs for secondary and tertiary care for each low-income family per year.
The one of its kind national insurance scheme was announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent Budget session. The scheme targets covering 10 Crore families (equals to about 50 Crore people) belonging to low-income or below poverty line section.
Previously, under the regime of Congress, headed by Siddaramaiah, the Karnataka government was reluctant to adopt ModiCare and it continued with its own State healthcare schemes. However, the current government under the leadership of Kumaraswamy, has a soft approach and has decided to implement a unified healthcare programme by combining its own schemes such as Vajpayee Arogyashree, Yeshaswini, and CM’s Santwana Harish with Ayushman Bharat.
The Health Minister Shivanand Patil said in his recent interview with Economic Times that they will co-brand their schemes with the Centre’s insurance scheme.
The chief minister also had a meeting with healthcare institutions and associations on understanding the pros and cons of Ayushman Bharat and on its merger with their own Arogya Karnataka.
The Centre government recognises only 62 Lakh Karnataka families as BPL, but 1.20 Crore families have been provided BPL benefits by the state. As the scheme covers only BPL families that are recognised by the Centre, the cost of the remaining people will be borne by the state.
For speedy adoption and implementation of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, Karnataka will soon be signing a MoU with the Centre.