15th October, 2018

India May Get New Universal Public Health Policy in Budget 2018

The Union Budget exercise of 2018 is awaited for more than a dozen reasons. The much-touted universal health insurance scheme too is likely to be announced in the Budget of 2018.

The scheme that was to replace the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) could be India’s answer to ‘The Patient he policy framework includes eligibility, premiums and the process of allocating the states for each insurer. But none of the details are known yet.

However, it looks that both -- private and public sector -- insurers will be covered.

RSBY to get replaced

The ongoing RSBY offers merely Rs 30,000 as insurance coverage which is not adequate considering the health inflation rate (18% presently).

The new cover may offer a higher cover with a subsidy on the premiums.

Launched in 2008, RSBY was meant for Below Poverty Line (BPL) households, but was later expanded to cover other defined categories of unorganised workers.

RSBY beneficiaries are entitled to hospitalisation coverage up to Rs 30,000 per annum on a family-floater basis. The beneficiaries need to pay only Rs 30 as registration fee yearly and Central and State government pay the premium as per their sharing ratio. The premiums are paid to the insurer selected by the State Government after a competitive bidding.

New Scheme

Once the new scheme is launched, the states will have to select the lowest bidder for the scheme in respective states. The premium payments may be made cashless.

The new scheme is said to have learnt from health insurance models from other parts of the world to induct the best practices.

Apart from the young members of the family including married couples and children, the senior citizens are also expected to get covered under the new scheme.