- Free entitlement cards for all Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries
- The card is not mandatory to avail the health benefits under the AB PM-JAY Scheme
- The card will help the identification and verification beneficiaries seamless
All the beneficiaries under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana which stands for AB PM-JAY, will not be able to procure their entitlement cards free of cost.
The Government of India, on Friday, waived off the fee of ₹ 30 per card which the beneficiaries, until now, were required to pay to village level entrepreneurs field level operators under the common service centres (CSC) across the country.
Having said this, if a duplicate card or reprint is required by any beneficiary, ₹ 15, plus taxes, shall be charged from the beneficiary by the CSC.
This arrangement came into existence after the National Health Authority (NHA), the government agency responsible for the implementation as well as the management of the scheme, on Friday, signed a Memorandum of Understating (MoU) with CSCs under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
The MoU is aimed at generating new PVC beneficiary cards which will be called “Ayushman cards” under the PM-JAY and further streamlining and easing the process of the service delivery to the beneficiaries under the scheme.
Ayushman cards produced at any of the PM-JAY empanelled hospitals, however, were issued for free and will continue to be issued at zero cost, said the government.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NHA, Ram Sewak Sharma said, “With the introduction of special PVC Ayushman cards issued completely free and replacement of paper-based cards, beneficiaries will now be able to store them easily at home”.
Though the card is not a mandatory requirement to avail the healthcare benefits under the AB PM-JAY, it is part of the mechanism needed for the identification as well as the verification of beneficiaries to enable seamless delivery of health services to patients and also prevent any kind of malpractice and fraud.
Dinesh Tyagi, Managing Director (MD), CSC e-Governance Services Indian Limited said, “Doing away with the ₹30 processing charged for each Ayushman card will have a high impact at the last mile as the poor still see paying for a Government scheme card as an expense they can avoid.
Tyagi added, “Taking the momentum forward, beneficiaries can visit any of the CSCs across India to check and validate their entitlement and get the benefit of the scheme absolutely free of cost”.
Under the MoU, it was also decided that the National Health Authority (NHA) will pay a fixed cost of ₹ 20 (exclusive of taxes) only for first-time Ayushman card issuance to Common Service Centres (CSC), and other such associated organisations.
The card which will be PVC, will be produced at a centralised location to ensure the uniformity and the quality of the Ayushman cards distributed on pan-India level. The State specific instructions/ information would be printed at the back of the e-card.
These will be dispatched to the VLEs who have generated the PM-JAY ID, from where PVC Ayushman Card can be collected after bio-authentication.
The AB PM-JAY is the flagship health protection scheme of the Narendra Modi-led central government which provides a cover of up to ₹ 5 lakh per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to more than 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families (which comes out to around 53 crore beneficiaries).