The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) — the insurance scheme with a ₹ 5 lakh cover for ten crore poor families announced in Budget 2018-19 — will require an annual outlay of ₹10,000 crore, the Niti Aayog has estimated.

The Centre’s share will be 60 per cent, about ₹6,000 crore, while the rest will come from the States. The beneficiaries will not have to pay anything.

“The calculations have been made with an estimated premium payment of ₹ 1,000 to ₹ 1,200 per family,” Vinod Kumar Paul, Member, Niti Aayog, said at a press conference on Friday.

At a separate press conference, Health Minister J P Nadda said that states would be given the option of subsuming their own schemes with the NHPS or continue running their own.

States will also have to decide whether to run NHPS in Trust mode, where all modalities are taken care of by the Trust, or the insurance company mode where the company that wins a bid is in charge, as per Niti Aayog.

Answering questions, Paul said that the task force that was formed in 2015 has been working on it for the past couple of years. The new scheme announced on Thursday is a modified version of the one announced in 2016-17 but which did not receive Cabinet clearance.

“There were some problems with the earlier scheme which we have worked on and now everything has been taken care of,” said Nadda.

While the Health Minister could not give any estimate about when the scheme would be implemented and said that things would happen ``very soon’’, the Niti Aayog team had an estimated time-line to share. As per the schedule, the scheme would get Cabinet approval by March and stakeholder consultations would happen in the same month. Data preparation, preparation of guidelines and revision of package rates would happen in April. State preparation and work on tenders would happen in July.

Once the NHPS is implemented, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, which is the Centre’s existing health insurance scheme with an insurance cover of ₹ 30,000 will come to an end, the officials added.

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