Recently NITI Aayog proposed a mandatory standard basic benefit which will offer health insurance coverage in India. The report was published on Monday, titled -“Health System for a New India: Building Blocks”. Setting a road map to improve India’s health system the focus is on unfinished health projects, health financing and delivery of medicines. This step will empower citizens to become better buyers of health in India.
NITI Aayog will focus on the middle class which is not covered under any public healthcare system. The report was released by the vice-chairman of the NITI Aayog -Rajiv Kumar in the presence of the co-chairman of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation –Bill Gates.
The report pointed out the importance of health insurance and efficient public funding of health sector in improving the standards of health packages. It was also highlighted that the financially weak states require higher funding in healthcare through conditional or unconditional fiscal transfers. The requirement is to have a standard benefit package which would include the minimum level of healthcare care services that are provided to all the citizens of the country.
“A standard benefits package also plays a substantial role in guiding the future development of commercial health insurance. It would ensure coverage of essential and insurable events under risk pooling arrangements,” added the report.
In the report it was further pointed out that India’s high out-of pocket financing are due to ineffective risk pooling and pre-payment systems. Without substantial improvements these numbers will continue to remain high and risk the country’s healthcare policies.
Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana offered a good start and targeted well the population harnessing the private insurance in the right direction. The main motive of NITI Aayog is to suggest a financing structure that encourage citizens to purchase health insurance.