The government’s ambitious health insurance scheme — Ayushman Bharat-National Health Promotion Mission — 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, said Health Minister JP Nadda.

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, Nadda said addressing a press conference on Thursday.

The scheme, which seeks to provide ₹5 lakh health cover to more than 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, was cleared by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday. While 60 per cent of the funds required for the scheme will be provided by the Centre the balance will be contributed by the States.

The details on how States want to implement the scheme (trust mode or insurance company mode), whether they are comfortable with contributing 40 per cent of the amount and if they wanted to merge their existing schemes with the national scheme, are yet to be thrashed out.

“Ayushman Bharat-NHPM is in synergy with NHM and will strengthen public health infrastructure. Various measures like identity validation through Aadhaar, cost control etc., make the Ayushman Bharat-NHPM easily accessible and transparent in approach,” said Nadda.

The Union Health Minister added that the National Health Protection Mission will ensure rapid advancement towards attaining universal healthcare as there will be substantial reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure through the scheme, safeguarding about 50 crore people.

“Ayushman Bharat-NHPM will contribute immensely to ease of living and will enable beneficiaries to health facilities from any part of the country,” he said.

The Health Minister said that the health scheme will also strengthen the spirit of cooperative federalism. “NHPM provides ease to be merged with the ongoing health protection or insurance schemes in various ministries and governments,” he said.

All public hospitals across States implementing the government’s health insurance scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat-NHPM’ will be deemed empanelled for the scheme, Nadda said.

Private hospitals will be empanelled online based on a defined criteria, he added.