Presenting the Union Budget 2018, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the world biggest National Health Scheme to provide cover to about 50 crore in health-related services. The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) which the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has dubbed as ‘Modicare’ will incur a total cost of up to Rs 10,000 crore in the first year. As announced by the FM Jaitley, the ‘Modicare’ will provide a health insurance of Rs 5 lakh per family which means that about 10 crore families will be benefitted from this scheme.

What is ‘Modicare’

The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) which will be a joint venture of both Centre and State, according to reports, at least 4 in every 10 people will be able avail the benefits of this scheme. Speaking on the scheme, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the total outlay of the scheme would be around Rs 8,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore, the Centre’s share would be around Rs 4,000 crore. To make sure that the scheme gets implemented properly, a national health survey will be instituted to monitor the developments. While, 2011 socia-economic caste census will be the basis to identify the beneficiaries of this scheme. Meanwhile, throwing some more light on the national health scheme, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said a lot of specificities will be brought into the scheme by the first quarter of the next fiscal. The Secretary said the scheme would cover the poor and near-poor families which would be identified based either on the Socio-Economic Survey or the poverty line. 

After the scheme’s announcement, while the government is being applauded by industry experts and common people to propose such a scheme, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during an event organised by Open Magazine said, “It takes care of hospitalisation, the secondary and tertiary care. Obviously, it will involve various state hospitals and selected private hospitals. It can be on trust model, it can be on insurance model. It’s not on reimbursement model because too many complaints come on the reimbursement model.”

‘Modicare’, the National Health Scheme, is based and takes the idea from popular US health-care scheme called Obamacare in order to provide insurance and financial support to poor people, at this ever-rising cost of increasing medical expenses.  

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