Rajasthan launches universal health insurance scheme

Chiranjeevi Yojana expected to provide succour to COVID-19 patients during the pandemic

Published - May 02, 2021 02:03 am IST - JAIPUR:

Chiranjeevi Yojana, the Rajasthan government’s universal health insurance scheme, launched here on Saturday, is expected to provide succour to COVID-19 patients during the pandemic. The ₹3,500 crore scheme gives an annual cashless insurance cover of ₹5 lakh to every family in the State.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said while launching the scheme at a virtual event that it would turn out to be a “historic step” in ensuring social security for vulnerable sections of society and help bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. The Centre and other States should also consider starting such a scheme to give the right to health to the public at large, he said.

Mr. Gehlot also formally started COVID-19 vaccination of people in the age group of 18 to 45 years in the Jaipur, Ajmer and Jodhpur districts. He distributed policy documents to some of the beneficiaries in the three districts.

The last date for registration for Chiranjeevi Yojana, which also covers treatment expenses for COVID 19, was extended from April 30 to May 31 on Mr. Gehlot’s instructions. The scheme was announced in the State Budget for 2021-22 for treatment in government and empanelled private hospitals.

Registration will be free for those who are covered under the National Food Security Act, Socio-Economic Caste Census, small and marginal farmers, contractual workers and those who have received COVID-19 ex-gratia assistance. Others who do not fall in these categories will be required to pay ₹850 as 50% of the annual premium.

Mr. Gehlot said the State government had taken up free vaccination of those in the 18-45 years age group with an expenditure of ₹3,000 crore after the Centre refused to accede to the request of several States to bear the cost. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi should announce free vaccination for the people of all age groups without delay,” he said.

The Chief Minister called upon the people to help in breaking the chain of coronavirus infections by strictly following COVID-19 protocol. “We will be helpless if the number of patients increases exponentially... I am willing to spend the entire budget for saving people’s lives, but it is the people who can control the epidemic,” he said.

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