Ayushman Bharat to all senior citizens


06:43 AM

1 min read
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What’s in today’s article?

● Why in News?

● What is Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PMJAY)?

● What is the need of Ayushman Bharat for senior citizens?

Why in News?

While releasing its election manifesto for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, a prominent political party promised to expand its Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance scheme to cover senior citizens.

What is Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PMJAY)?

  • About
    • Launched in September 2018, the scheme aimed to offer secondary and tertiary care services to the vulnerable population in the society.
    • It aimed to offer medical coverage of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation to poor and vulnerable families.
    • The scheme covers over nearly 40% of the population targeted towards poorest and the vulnerable.
  • Eligibility
    • Earlier, the scheme targeted to cover 10.74 crore poor, deprived rural families and identified occupational category of urban worker’s families.
    • However, states implementing AB-PMJAY have broadened their reach to encompass 13.44 crore families (65 crore people).
    • The beneficiaries as identified by latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data.
  • Performance
Performance of Ayushman Bharat
  • Benefits
    • It provides cashless access to health care services for the beneficiary at the point of service, i.e., the hospital.
    • Under the scheme every eligible family will be given Rs 5 lakh Insurance coverage benefit per year.
    • It offers Health Benefit Packages which covers surgery, medical and day care treatments, cost of medicines and diagnostics.

What is the need of Ayushman Bharat for senior citizens?

  • Ageing population
    • India is reaping the benefits of the demographic dividend at present. However, the declining fertility rate and increasing life expectancy mean that India’s population is growing old.
    • Only 8.6% of the country’s population was over the age of 60 years at the time of the previous census in 2011, this proportion is expected to increase to 19.5% by 2050.
      • In terms of absolute numbers, the population over the age of 60 years will nearly triple from 103 million in 2011 to 319 million in 2050.
    • The aging population will mean increased expenditure on health and long-term care, labour force shortages, public dissaving, and old-age income insecurity.
    • As a result, offering coverage to senior citizens will have huge public health implications.
    • The senior citizens live with the highest burden of chronic health conditions and their complications, the cost of health is higher for them.
  • Low insurance coverage
    • As per the India Ageing Report 2023, just over 20% of people over the age of 60 years are covered under health schemes such as Central Government Health Scheme, Employees State Insurance Scheme etc.
    • Coverage is higher in elderly men (19.7%) than elderly women (16.9%). There is not much rural-urban divide in the coverage, according to the report.
    • The India Ageing Report found that the main reasons for a lack of coverage in elderly are low awareness (52.9%) and non-affordability (21.6%).
  • Diseases of the old
    • The elderly are not only affected by chronic, non-communicable diseases and their complications, they are also more prone to infectious diseases because of a weakened immune system.
  • Analysis of the expenditure incurred by the govt under Ayushman Bharat
    • According to the official data, the government has incurred the most money for five key specialties under the scheme: cardiology, general medicine, general surgery, orthopaedics, and medical and radiation oncology.
    • This data show that the government already is incurring most of the money in providing treatment that is predominantly required for the elderly population.

Q.1. What is India Ageing Report 2023?

The India Ageing Report 2023 was released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in partnership with other organizations. The report highlights the significant implications of India's aging population for its health, economy, and society.

Q.2. What is Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC)?

The Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 was the first caste-based census in India since 1931. It was a door-to-door enumeration across the country, covering all states and union territories. The census was conducted in June 2011 and the results were released in 2015.

Source: BJP promises to extend Ayushman Bharat to all senior citizens: What is the significance?