Budget may raise RSBY insurance cover by Rs 20,000

Budget may raise RSBY insurance cover by Rs 20,000

Budget may raise RSBY insurance cover by Rs 20,000

The Centre is planning to enhance cashless insurance coverage under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) from the existing Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 with the objective of providing better healthcare facilities to the poor. 

To cope with increased hospitalisation expenditure, the government has decided to enhance the insurance coverage amount, sources in the government told Deccan Herald. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to announce the enhancement in the budget, sources added.

As part of the restructuring plan for the scheme, the government is also working towards bringing the RSBY under the ambit of the Union Health Ministry instead of the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment,  which is currently the administrative ministry.

The Prime Minister Office (PMO), which is working on improved management of the scheme, feels that the IT systems deployed at RSBY-empanelled hospitals generate a huge database of health records from across private and public hospitals.

Effective surveillance

PMO officials think that this database can help the Health Ministry detect early outbreak of diseases and assist schemes like the integrated disease surveillance programme (IDSP), sources said.

RSBY was launched by the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment in 2008 to provide health insurance coverage for below poverty line (BPL) families. At present, beneficiaries under RSBY are entitled to coverage of up to Rs 30,000 for most of the diseases that require hospitalisation.

Coverage extends to five members of the family, which includes the head of the family, the spouse, and up to three dependents. Beneficiaries need to pay only Rs 30 as registration fee while the Centre and state governments pay the premium. Since its launch, over 71 lakh people have availed the benefit of the hospitalisation scheme.

The scheme has received appreciation from the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme for its success.

Studies have shown that it has significantly reduced out-of-pocket expenditure on health among the below poverty line (BPL) population covered under the scheme.

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