Why Telangana is yet to jump on the Centre’s AB-NHPM bandwagon

Financial, political considerations weigh heavily on health administrators’ mind

Quality, compensation and coverage alongside political ramifications are weighing on the health administration before Telangana can give its nod to the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat - National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM).

According to those in the know in the health administration, Telangana, which is among the three States yet to give its nod to AB-NHPM, has around 80 lakh families registered under the existing Aarogyasri. AB-NHPM will cover only 20 lakh BPL families in the State and comes with a 60% contribution or ₹200 crore.

However, given the popularity of its Aarogyasri, the State government is unlikely to cut down the number of beneficiaries. Also, AB-NHPM aims to provide insurance coverage of ₹5 lakh as against the State’s Aarogyasri that provides a registered family with ₹2 lakh coverage.

While the State cannot axe the number of beneficiaries, it has to enhance coverage to ₹5 lakh for 60 lakh families to ensure parity among beneficiaries under AB-NHPM. The State currently spends around ₹800 crore on the scheme that covers 80 lakh beneficiaries with ₹2 lakh coverage.

Enhancing coverage of the 60 lakh families to ₹5 lakh and footing 40% of the bill for the remaining 20 lakh families covered by the Centre, is likely to cost the State more than what it currently spends on Aarogyasri.

Even if the numbers can be worked out, the hesitation for the ruling TRS is whether the Centre will walk away with all the credit for the scheme by paying just a fraction of the bill in Telangana.

Additionally, private health institutions and doctors in the State have voiced their opposition to Health Minister C. Laxma Reddy on the tariffs fixed under AB-NHPM.

Decision likely this week

A decision on the State joining the scheme is likely this week, about a fortnight ahead of the planned launch of AB-NHPM on August 15. It was learnt the State’s health administrators may negotiate for equal contribution from the Centre to cover the 80 lakh Aarogyasri beneficiaries in the State.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:52:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/why-telangana-is-yet-to-jump-on-the-centres-ab-nhpm-bandwagon/article24498311.ece

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