Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has become only the second state/ union territory in India to provide free and cashless health insurance cover to the entire population and remit annual premium from its own kitty.

On May 2, Maharashtra became the first state to provide free and cashless insurance protection to its people.

On Friday, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha unveiled Jammu and Kashmir Health Scheme to provide free universal health Insurance coverage to all the residents of the Union Territory.  The scheme will cover about 15 lakh families over and above the 5.97 lakh families already covered under AB-PMJAY.

“The government will be paying an annual premium of Rs 849 premium per family to the insurance company.  The common service center will be issuing golden cards like Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY). The scheme is free and the entire population will be covered,” Atal Dulloo, Finance Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, told The Kashmir Monitor.

Dulloo pointed out that at present there are about 23,300 empanelled hospitals across India where this facility can be availed and these include 218 public and private hospitals in J&K.

Besides, 1592 Medical Packages have already been approved under AB-PMJAY to which all the beneficiaries of J&K Health Scheme will have access.  In addition, the package of life-consuming diseases such as cancer and kidney failure and treatment of Covid-19 are also covered under the J&K Health Scheme.

All high-end treatments of Oncology, Cardiology and Nephrology will be covered from day one while the high-end diagnostic treatments during hospitalization will also be covered.

According to the scheme, there shall be no restriction on the family size or age and all the pre-existing medical conditions shall be covered under the scheme. The scheme shall cover three days of pre-hospitalization, hospitalization, and 15 days of post-hospitalization including diagnostic care and expenditure on medicines.

The annual financial implication for JK Health Scheme would be Rs 123 Crore. Under J&K Health Scheme, portability option will be available as applicable under AB-PMJAY, which will allow the beneficiary families to avail cashless service from any of the health care providers empanelled under AB-PMJAY across the country.

“The scheme shall be implemented through an insurance service provider discovered through transparent competitive bidding viz. M/S Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Ltd,” said Dulloo.

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