Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana
Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY, literally "National Health Insurance Programme", Hindi: राष्ट्रीय स्वास्थ्य बीमा योजना) is a government-run health insurance scheme for the Indian poor. It provides for cashless insurance for hospitalisation in public as well private hospitals. The scheme started enrolling on April 1, 2008 and has been implemented in 25 states of India. A total of 36 million families have been enrolled as of February 2014. The RSBY is a project under the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Every "below poverty line" (BPL) family holding a yellow ration card pays 30 (less than US$0.7) registration fee to get a biometric-enabled smart card containing their fingerprints and photographs. This enables them to receive inpatient medical care of up to 30,000 (approx US$670 as of March 2011) per family per year in any of the empanelled hospitals. Pre-existing illnesses are covered from day one, for head of household, spouse and up to three dependent children or parents.
In the Union Budget for 2012-13, the government made a total allocation of 1096.7 crore towards RSBY. Although meant to cover the entire BPL population,(about 37.2 per cent of the total Indian population according to the Tendulkar committee estimates) it had enrolled only around 10 per cent of the Indian population by March 31, 2011. Also, it is expected to cost the exchequer at least 3,350 crore a year to cover the entire BPL population.
The scheme has won plaudits from the World Bank, the UN and the ILO as one of the world's best health insurance schemes. Germany has shown interest in adopting the smart card based model for revamping its own social security system, the oldest in the world, by replacing its current, expensive, system of voucher based benefits for 2.5 million children. The Indo-German Social Security Programme, created as part of a co-operation pact between the two countries is guiding this collaboration.
One of the big changes that this scheme is bringing investments to unserved areas. Most of private investments in healthcare in India have been focused on tertiary or specialized care in urban areas. However, with RSBY coming in, the scenario is changing. New age companies like Glocal Healthcare Systems, a company based out of Kolkata and funded by Tier I Capital Funds like Sequoia Capital and Elevar Equity are setting up State of Art Hospitals in Semi Urban - rural settings. This trend can create the infrastructure that India's healthcare system desperately needs.
- Jackie Range. "India's poor get healthcare in a card". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
- "About RSBY". Ministry of Labour and Employment. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
- http://www.rsby.gov.in/. Missing or empty
- "RSBY:National Summary". Ministry of Labour and Employment. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
- "Healthy outlook in Budget". The Hindu BusinessLine. March 22, 2012.
- "German delegation visiting India to take Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana lessons". The Economic Times. August 6, 2012.
- "Rural India looking for high quality healthcare". The Economic Times. February 3, 2012.