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Budget 2024: Insurance cover under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY scheme to be doubled to Rs 10 lakh?

Budget 2024 expectations: With an aim to enhance healthcare accessibility, the Modi government is actively pursuing plans to double the reach of its flagship Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme over the next three years.
According to a PTI report, discussions are intensifying to increase the annual insurance coverage under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) from the current Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh per family – a step that may be announced by FM Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget 2024.
The expansion of AB-PMJAY would likely begin by covering all individuals aged 70 years and above, potentially extending comprehensive health coverage to more than two-thirds of India’s population. This expansion is expected to add approximately 4 to 5 crore new beneficiaries to the program, significantly enhancing healthcare access for senior citizens across the country.
This enhancement is crucial to alleviate financial burdens associated with costly medical treatments like organ transplants and cancer therapies, addressing a critical factor contributing to family indebtedness due to healthcare expenses.
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Budget Allocations
According to estimates by the National Health Authority, implementing these proposals would necessitate an additional annual expenditure of Rs 12,076 crore for the exchequer. The impending Union Budget, scheduled for later this month, is expected to unveil substantial allocations towards more of these healthcare initiatives.
In the interim Budget 2024, the government had already allocated Rs 7,200 crore for AB-PMJAY, making it the largest healthcare scheme worldwide, providing secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation coverage to 12 crore families. An additional Rs 646 crore was earmarked for the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM), aimed at strengthening healthcare facilities and services.

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