· SETS UP COMMITTEE UNDER CS TO WORK OUT MODALITIES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF UNIVERSAL HEALTH INSURANCE SCHEME
Chandigarh, October 3: While giving in-principle approval to the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY), the Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday extended the central scheme to cover over 42 lakh families, instead of the proposed 14.96 lakh SECC families, thereby fulfilling the Congress poll promise of providing universal health cover.
The Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, decided to set up a committee under the Chief Secretary, to work out the financial modalities for the implementation of the scheme, to be implemented at an estimated cost of over Rs. 300 crore, by cutting the budgets of other departments, as and where necessary.
While PMJAY had proposed to cover 14.96 SECC families in the state, the Captain Amarinder Singh government has decided to extend the scheme to provide Rs. 5 lakh insurance cover to 42 lakh of the total 61 lakh families in the state. These include families of farmers, construction workers and small traders, as well as the other poor families (currently covered under the Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Bima Yojana – BPSSBY).
With another 6-7 lakh government employees already covered, only the few rich families are left out of the purview of the scheme, thus effectively reaching out to the entire population of the state.
The Cabinet also authorized the Chief Minister to rename the scheme for Punjab, where the Congress, in its election manifesto, had committed itself to providing universal health insurance.
Disclosing this here today, an official spokesperson said the estimated cost of annual premium @ Rs.1082 per family would be shared between the Central and State Governments in the ratio of 60:40, which would cost Rs.65 crores to the state government annually, for which the Finance Department had already agreed.
The Cabinet also gave concurrence to extend the period of Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Bima Yojana (BPSSBY), which is expiring on October 31, 2018, for the next three months or implementation of revised scheme, whichever is earlier.
It may be recalled that the state has been implementing BPSSBY since 2015 for providing health insurance cover of Rs. 50,000 per family per year to about 30 lakh blue card holders and 7.90 lakh other families.