Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious plan to provide health insurance to 100 million poor families would require Rs 110 billion ($1.71 billion) in federal and state funding each year, a government official told Reuters.
The National Health Protection Scheme, dubbed "Modicare" and announced in Thursday's Budget 2018, would provide 100 million families, or about 500 million poor people, with a health cover of Rs 500,000 ($7,850) for free treatment of serious ailments.
Meanwhile, the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch has cautioned the government against engaging foreign insurance companies for providing health cover to the poor under a flagship programme announced in the Union budget.
SJM co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan said it was heartening to note that the government had announced a health protection scheme, which will reach out to 50 crore people by offering up to Rs 5 lakh cover for illnesses.
"However, SJM would like to caution the government that while implementing this scheme, foreign insurance companies should not be engaged so that valuable resources of the country are retained in India only," he said in a statement.