News Life and Health 16 Feb 2018

India:Premium for national health scheme to cost at least US$157 a year per family

| 16 Feb 2018

India's proposed National Health Protection Scheme, which aims to provide coverage to 100 million households, is estimated to require an annual premium per family of INR1,000 (US$157) to INR1,200.

The scheme, announced in the 1 February Budget speech and to be launched by October, is to be funded in 60:40 by the central government and states, reported Times of India. The coverage to be provided is INR500,000 per household.

The Niti Aayog, which is a policy think tank of the government formed in 2015, has calculated an outgo of INR100-120 billion a year for the central government and is confident of successful implementation with the low premiums it hopes to get from insurance firms.

To substantiate this optimism, government sources pointed out that the Rajasthan government currently offers a cover of INR375,000 a year for a premium of INR500 per family and the claims rate is around 2.5%.

Officials said various state health insurance schemes and global examples had been studied by Niti Aayog before a presentation was made to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said that a health regulator has to be set up to sort out differences between states and private health insurers that might emerge in implementing the NHPS.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Health Services has been asked to draw up a list of procedures/diseases that will be covered under the NHPS, in preparation for the rollout of the programme. Once details of the scheme have been ironed out, states can opt how they wish to implement the scheme, including tying up with insurers.

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