State government of Punjab launched a mega health insurance scheme title ‘Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana’ (MGSSBY) for poor by clubbing Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) plan with its own. The PMJAY was unveiled in September 2018 by the Centre and kept on hold so far by Punjab government.
- The scheme was launched by Punjab’s Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to mark 75th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. With launch of this scheme, Punjab has become 1st state to offer medical insurance for such a large proportion of its population.
- It incorporates Ayushman Bharat or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), Centre’s health insurance scheme for poor. By clubbing Centre’s Ayushman Bharat plan with its MGSSBY, it is expected to benefit 46 lakh families covering 76% of state’s population. Going by last Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC), Ayushman Bharat or PMJAY would have covered 14.86 lakh families in Punjab.
- Like PMJAY, this Punjab government’s scheme will also provide cashless health insurance cover of Rs.5 lakh/year. There are 1,396 treatment packages under the scheme, which will be implemented through more than 450 empanelled hospitals, including 200 government hospitals. Scheme would be extend to over 76% of its population, in sharp contrast to 12% that would have been covered under Centre’s PMJAY.