National Health Protection Scheme
National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) is world’s biggest universal healthcare scheme announced by Government of India in Budget of 2018-19. Under this scheme, 10 crore families will be provided Rs. 5 Lakh (US$ 7700 ) cover per family annually for treatment.
Government of India wants to cover approx. 500 million people under this scheme which is close to 40% of population of India. Government of India has allocated 2000 cr (US $ 307 mn) in the budget for this scheme. However, the actual cost of implementing the scheme will be much higher and it is expected that it would cost exchequer more than 10000 crore (> US $ 1.5 bn) annually to implement the scheme. Considering that General Elections are lined up for late 2018 or early 2019, Government is expected to take all steps to roll out the scheme by middle of calendar year 2018.
National Health Protection Scheme is also being popularly called as Modicare and Namocare, drawing reference from the universal healthcare scheme in US named as Obamacare. Modicare is expected to open up sea of opportunities for companies engaged in Insurance sector like Insurance companies, TPAs, Insurance Brokers and Agents. Modicare is also expected to give boost to Healthcare sector In India. All this will result into more employment opportunities and better health coverage for large section of Indian population.
National Health Protection Mission, Modicare or Namocare, whatever name we call it, it is still some time before this scheme actually becomes a reality. The scheme will be one of the biggest administrative challenge for Government of India. However, going by the track record of Modi Governemnt, it has never shied away from taking up challenging tasks like Jan Dhan Yojana, demonetisation, GST etc. This will be another feather in cap for Modi Government if they manage to successfully roll out the scheme.