New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed the progress of preparations towards the launch of the Health Assurance programme under Ayushman Bharat.

Top officials of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, NITI Aayog and PMO, briefed the prime minister on various aspects, including the preparations in states, and development of the technological infrastructure associated with the scheme.

Indu Bhushan, Chief Executive Officer Ayushman Bharat, said that presently 28 states are on board for inclusion in the Ayushman Bharat Scheme while 8 states have yet to join.

“At the national level, all guidelines covering the scheme are in place and the IT backbone has been prepared. Flexibility has been accorded to states with regard to coverage, cost and the insurance model," said Bhushan.

Billed as the world’s largest health assurance scheme, aims to provide free health insurance of 5 lakh per family to nearly 40% of the population—more than 100 million poor and vulnerable families based on the socio economic caste census. The scheme is also popularly known as Modicare.

According to the government, Ayushman Bharat will leverage on Comprehensive Primary Health Care through Health and Wellness Centres for preventive, promotive and curative care and will ensure seamless continuum of care. This will avoid overcrowding and improve quality of care at secondary and tertiary facilities and provide universal health coverage and make services equitable, affordable and accessible.

Over 3 lakh Common Service Center (CSC) and National Health Accounts (NHA) will register Ayushman Bharat Beneficiaries. CSCs are access points with basic computing infrastructure run and operated by a local entrepreneur who lives in the same community. It is an integral part of the ‘Digital India’ initiative of the government to foster financial inclusion in the country.

In April, on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti, the prime minister had inaugurated the first ‘Health and Wellness Centre’ under Ayushman Bharat, in the aspirational district of Bijapur in Chhattisgarh