Odisha junks ‘Modicare’ for Biju health scheme
Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government said on Thursday it would not implement Modicare because its own health scheme, announced on Tuesday, was better than the former. The state is now the fourth, after Delhi, Punjab and West Bengal, to reject Modicare, officially known as the Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission.
State health minister Pratap Jena said, “Our Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana is better than the Centre’s health scheme and will come into effect from Independence Day.” The scheme, which the media has named “Naveencare”, promises up to Rs 5 lakh health assistance to 70 lakh families in empanelled hospitals.
“Compared to this, Ayushman Bharat covers only 61 lakh families, which means depriving nine lakh families, consisting of 45 lakh people, of health benefits,” Jena said.
A senior government official said Modicare, like the state scheme, offers health assistance of up to Rs 5 lakh but it is not insurance-based. The state scheme will be run by a trust that will reimburse the hospitalisation costs of eligible patients. State BJP vicepresident Sameer Mohanty described as a “political move” the BJD government’s decision to stay out of the scheme.