NEW DELHI: The government will print and hand-deliver about 110 million ‘family cards’ for the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme in a major public contact programme by organising ‘Ayushman Pakhwaras’ in villages as it seeks to implement the Prime Minister’s signature move.
The Central government will also set up a 24X7 call centre in the capital to attend to complaints and queries from citizens about the scheme and assist them when they are outside their home states.
“The government plans to complete all preparations for Ayushman Bharat by August 15,” Indu Bhushan, CEO of Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM), told ET. The exact date of the launch is not known yet.
The ‘family cards’ will carry the names of those eligible for the scheme and will be attached to a personalised letter informing each beneficiary about the salient features of the scheme. The government has identified 80% of the beneficiaries in rural regions and 60% in urban regions so far, Bhushan said.
The government said the call centre, accessible by a national toll-free number, is needed for the largest government-sponsored health insurance scheme to ensure that beneficiaries and other stakeholders have seamless and timely access to information and services. The call centre will be equipped to answer emails and online chats by citizens.
Contracts for running the call centre and the printing of cards could be awarded by August, in anticipation of a rollout of the scheme in the next few months. The scheme will cover over 100 million poor and vulnerable families, with about 500 million beneficiaries.
The family card will be one of the ways to ease the identification process for beneficiaries and other documents will be needed to authenticate the information.
“We want to reduce the sense of uncertainty that people have about whether they are eligible for Ayushman Bharat or not. The family should know that they are entitled and where to go to receive these services,” Bhushan said.
More than 107 million information letters and family cards need to be printed and delivered over a twoyear period, as per a bid document floated by AB-NHPM.
It will not take two years to print the letters and entitled families will not be denied services in case they have not received their letters, Bhushan said.
The service provider will print the letters upon getting beneficiary information from the National Health Agency – while adhering to data safety standards – sort them into bundles by area code and deliver them to the district headquarters of the beneficiaries. The letters would then be sent to gram panchayats and distributed to the families through functions like ‘Ayushman Pakhwara’ organised in villages and door-to-door by health workers. The call centre service provider can use the hub-and-spoke model and establish zonal call centre in other parts of the country.
The call centre will facilitate access to national portability benefits of the scheme for beneficiaries outside their home states. It will have geotagging capabilities, which will enable the government to serve the citizens in efficient and effective ways, as per a bid document.
“This capability will enable a call from a citizen to be automatically identified by location and routed to the nearest identified call centre location,” according to the document.