The people in Meghalaya will have to wait for some more days to avail the benefit of the health insurance scheme of the Centre – Ayushman Bharat.
Meghalaya health minister A.L. Hek told reporters on Tuesday that the state government could not launch the health scheme since fresh tender has to be invited for the implementation of the scheme.
Out of eight firms participated in the tendering process, five qualified but even the rate of premium quested by the lowest bidder was too high at Rs 1,999 per household per year.
“We have to again float a new tender because the rate of premium quoted by the lowest bidder was too high and more than double of the previous rate quoted for MHIS phase-III at Rs 911,” health secretary, Pravin Bakshi said.
The implementation of MHIS phase-III by the Meghalaya government ended on June 30, but the scheme was extended upto September 25.
Bakshi said that the premium at Rs 1999 would cost the government Rs 117 crore annually whereas the Centre has fixed that the base premium should Rs 1,050 per family per year with a budget of around Rs 65 crore yearly.
He said that in the new tender, the cost of certain packages under the scheme can be brought down such as the rate for admission in general ward at Rs 1,800 per day can be reduced to Rs 1,000.
“Delays are being faced in the preparations, as technical convergence is being planned at the registration stage and the hospital level along with the national health agency of the Union health ministry,” the government said.
The MHIS phase IV will converge with Ayushman Bharat to provide a health insurance of Rs 5 lakh per family with an increased number of treatment/disease to be made available to the public.
Hek said that the health scheme would cover a total of Rs 8 lakh households in the state.
Asked about the plan to complete the tendering process and launching of the MHIS phase-IV, Hek said that the state government wanted to implement the MHIS phase-IV in convergence with Ayushman Bharat before Christmas.
On the number of beneficiaries from poor families in the state, Bakshi said that there are 3.41 lakh households under the category of lowest income families in the state according to the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 conducted for the 2011.
Bakshi said that for beneficiaries from the category of lowest income families, 90 percent of the cost would be borne by the Centre, and 10 per cent by the state. However the cost for beneficiaries from the rest of households would be borne by the state.