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Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY CEO Indu Bhushan. Photo: HT
Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY CEO Indu Bhushan. Photo: HT

Coronavirus treatment: Migrants to get health insurance under Ayushman Bharat

  • PMJAY a cashless and paperless scheme, provides health cover of up to 5 lakhs per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization
  • NHA, the implementing agency of Ayushman Bharat is coordinating with the states to identify the eligible beneficiaries under the scheme

The Union government on Wednesday extended its flagship health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) to migrant workers across states, in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

The move is aimed at providing healthcare assurance to the migrant workers, who have lost their jobs and other sources of livelihood during the nationwide lockdown.

National Health Authority (NHA), the implementing agency of AB-PMJAY is coordinating with the states to identify the eligible beneficiaries under the scheme. The NHA has also offered to issue e-cards to the eligible migrants.

AB-PMJAY a cashless and paperless scheme, provides health cover of up to 5 lakhs per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families (about 53 crore beneficiaries). All beneficiaries including migrants can easily access their cards online anytime anywhere.

“NHA is actively supporting and coordinating with states wherein migrant labourers are returning. Our aim is to ensure that all the eligible migrant workers receive e-cards so that they can access treatment at any of the empanelled hospitals across the country," said Dr Indu Bhushan, chief executive officer (CEO), AB-PMJAY and NHA.

“We are using this opportunity to sensitize the returning migrant workers about the benefits of Ayushman Bharat, particularly about the portability feature of the scheme. Further, we are working with States in empanelling more hospitals and labs and mobilizing the existing hospitals to provide covid and non covid treatments to our beneficiaries," he said, adding that at least 80% of the 10.74 crore beneficiary families under PMJAY are in rural India.

“If we look from the view point of health aspect the exposure and status of infection of the migrant labours is unknown and if infected will have serious repercussions," said Dr Suresh Sharma, Head, Population Research Center, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University.

“This crisis definitely gives an opportunity to both the central and respective state governments to transform and improve the weak health system just like the central government focusses on the defence perspective it is the same way the health perspective should be given equal weightage in times of future pandemics," he said.

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