The Ministry of Health has met the general insurers and state owned GIC Re on Thursday in New Delhi to prepare the road- map for rolling out the National Health Protection Scheme(NHPS), billed as world’ s largest health insurance scheme.
Preeti Sudan, Secretary, ministry of health, had addressed the first ever meeting meeting of general insurers..
NHPS was announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley in his 1 February Budget speech. Under the scheme, Government plans to provide health cover of Rs 5 lakhs per family to 100 million families in India, which is about 500 million people or 40 per cent of the population.
G Srinivasan, CMD, New India Assurance(NIA) and chairman of the General Insurnace Council, the official representative of the general insurers and Alice Vaidyan, CMD, GIC Re along with the officials of other state owned and private sector general insurers had attended the meeting called by the Health Minsitry over NHPS..
“Government want to start the scheme at the earliest and wants our suggestions about the implementation of this mega scheme. We didn’t discuss about the possible premiums per policy. This was a prelimnary level meeting all of us had,’’ said CMD of a public sector general insurance company adding that government officials indicated that the scheme will be expanded afterwards to to include more segments of population..
Earlier the ministry had called meeting of health secretaries of states to know their suggestions as how to implement the mega scheme.
While the broad outlines of the scheme- like whether government would a prefer an insurance model or a Trust model- are not known, the details are being worked out in discussions with state health secretaries and general insurers. The implementation will involve questions about how the centre and states will split financing the scheme in a 60:40 ratio, and how the national insurance scheme will fit in with the existing Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (or RSBY which targets those below the poverty line) and state level schemes in states like Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
NHPS will be part of Centre’s Ayushman Bharat Yojana. The Niti Aayog, which is a policy think tank of the government, has calculated an outgo of Rs 100-120 billion a year for the central government and is confident of successful implementation with the low premiums it hopes to get from insurance firms.
While Niti Aayog has suggested that government should pay around Rs 1000 of premium per policy, general insurers have insisted that Rs 2,500 of premium per policy on the basis of acturial pricing to make the scheme sustainable in the long run.
Meanwhile , Manoj Jhalani, 1987 batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer, currently serving as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Health and family Welfare has been given additional charge and designated as Mission Director of Ayushman Bharat.
Kerala cadre IAS officer Dr Dinesh Arora(2002 batch) has also been appointed Director for Ayushman Bharat Scheme in the ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Only Nandan Nilekani can develop IT infra for Modicare: Mohandas Pai
IT veteran and tech investor T V Mohandas Pai on Friday said he cannot think of anyone else in the world other than Nandan Nilekani to assist the Centre in developing IT infrastructure for the mega National Health Protection Scheme in a short time.
"Nobody else globally would be able to develop IT infrastructure for NHPS in a short time as Nandan and his team as public service to India," Pai told PTI here.
According to him, it is a great move by the government as the scheme needs a massive IT infrastructure capable of handling one billion plus transactions a year.
In his Budget speech earlier this month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had provided an initial corpus of Rs 20 billion for NHPC which aims at providing medical cover of up to Rs 0.5 million to over 100 million poor and vulnerable families ,constituting 40 per cent of India's total population.
Pai said Nilekani is eminently suited for this and has the ability to attract best of class global talent to work with him on conceptualisation, design, architecture and to make it work.
Nilekani has the great track record of creating Aadhaar, the largest personal database in the world for any government and of designing the the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) network, he said.
The IT infrastructure for the health care scheme will be of a huge scale as was required for Aadhaar and will have to be scaled up gradually in view of the massive range of the programme, Pai said.
Nilekani, a former Unique Identification Authority of India Chairman, is also a member of GST return simplification committee.