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Punjab Govt brings 9.5 lakh farmers, families under health cover

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today gave the go-ahead for bringing a total of 9.5 lakh farmers and their families into the ambit of the health insurance coverage under the Ayushman Bharat Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana for 2020-21, as against around 5 lakh covered in the previous year.

The scheme, launched by the state government on the Rajiv Gandhi birth anniversary on August 20, 2019, with 45 lakh families covered for 2019-2020, has proved to be highly beneficial to people of Punjab during the Covid crisis.

The state government has also capped charges for Covid-19 treatment in hospitals empanelled under the Ayushman Bharat Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana.

The Chief Minister said that the beneficiaries could approach any of the 546 empanelled private hospitals and 208 government hospitals for treatment facility of up to Rs 5 lakh for 1,396 diseases, including major surgical treatments such as heart surgery, cancer treatment, joint replacement and accident cases, under the health insurance scheme.

The number of farmers covered during the first year of the scheme stood at around 5 lakh, as these had been issued 'J' forms in 2015 by the Mandi Board.

With 8.7 lakh farmers and 80,000 cane growers now registered with the Mandi Board as 'J' form holders, having sold their agricultural produce on or after January 1, 2020, and on November 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020 sugar season, respectively, the farming families eligible for cover during 2020-21 has now gone up to 9.5 lakh.

With the Chief Minister approving their inclusion in the scheme, all the 9.5 lakh will now be covered with effect from August 20, according to an official spokesperson..