Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB – PMJAY) is a public health insurance scheme. It was launched by the Government of India in September 2018 . It aims at providing free and easy access to health insurance coverage for citizens with low income. The program provides access to free secondary healthcare for those who need specialist treatment or require hospitalization. Ayushman Bharat Yojana is a part of the National Health Policy with a national health mission of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Ayushman Bharat health insurance is jointly financed by union and state governments that cover above 50 crore Indians, making it the largest government-funded health scheme. With the announcement of Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts (ABHA), the government hopes to increase participation in Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. Read to know more about digital health card or the Ayushman bharat health accounts.
ABHA stands for Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts. It promotes safe digital healthcare that allows you to access and share your health records digitally with healthcare providers and payers. It gives you the means to interact with medical companies and receive lab reports, prescriptions, and diagnoses with ease. ABHA was previously known as the Health ID Card.
The government had launched Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) in August 2020 to create an integrated health infrastructure. As part of the national health mission, you will receive a 14-digital identification number. However, ABHA is a voluntary program that allows you to create your digital health cards by using an Aadhaar card, driving license or mobile number.
Additional Read: ABHA Health Card Registration Process
In 2017, a study reported major risk factors and diseases affecting all states in India from 1990 and 2016 . This raised interest and led to the formation of a new government health policy as major challenges needed to be addressed. A report was also published in 2018 that revealed more than 6 crore Indians were going bankrupt annually due to medical expenses .
Although there were national and regional healthcare programs in India, much more needed to be done. Therefore, the GoI in February 2018 announced Ayushman bharat scheme as a universal healthcare plan.
The states and UTs in India have the right to choose to avail the Ayushman Bharat Yojana. Around 20 states had committed to be a part of the program when it was launched. But soon after, some UTs and states stepped back. States like Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra initially declined as they already had healthcare programs. Similarly, Kerala joined the national health mission in November 2019. West Bengal and Telangana initially participated in the program but then opted out to support their regional health programs. Odisha joined the program in January 2020 while Delhi announced its interest in March 2020.
The Prime Minister in May 2020 said that Ayushman Bharat Yojana had benefitted more than 1 crore citizens . By that time, the scheme had provided treatments totalling Rs.13,412 crore in cost. There were 24,432 empanelled private and public hospitals. In November 2019, the program also started collaborating with the Employees’ State Insurance program.
Here are some features and benefits of digital health card: 
An important challenge for Ayushman bharat yojana is the need for infrastructure that contributes to the modern healthcare system. Ayushman Bharat – PMJAY aims at providing excellent healthcare. However, India still suffers from problems like shortage of doctors, growing infectious diseases, and a low national budget in healthcare. Another challenge is that not many private hospitals have participated in the initiative as they can’t afford to offer services at government prices. Also, there has been reports of some private hospitals misusing the scheme.
Additional Read: Ayushman card download
To check your eligibility under PMJAY, visit the portal and click on ‘Am I Eligible’. Enter your mobile number the CAPTCHA code. Then, click on ‘Generate OTP’. Select your state and search by name, HHD number, ration card number, or mobile number. Check the results to verify if your family is covered under PMJAY. You can also contact any of the empanelled hospitals or call the helpline number.
Individuals and families get an insurance cover of Rs.5 lakh under PMJAY. It covers medical and surgical treatments across 25 specialties. Once you are identified as a beneficiary and get a health card under PMJAY, you can get hospitalized at network hospitals and access the benefits of the scheme.
As a beneficiary, you can contact the toll-free helpline number 14555 or reach out to the Ayushman Mitra in the hospital you are getting treated.
You too can apply for the Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts (ABHA) and avail of digital healthcare services. Apart from this, remember that a health insurance plan in today’s times is a must. If you are not eligible for the Ayushman Bharat Health insurance scheme, you can check out the affordable health plans under Aarogya Care offered by Bajaj Finserv Health.
These plans cover your entire family and offer benefits like preventive health check-ups, consultation reimbursements, network discounts, and more. Make sure you prioritize your health for a happy and stress-free life.
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