New Delhi: Accredited Social Health Activists (Asha) and Anganwadi workers will be collecting data on individuals above 70 years of age to bring them under the purview of  the government’s free healthcare scheme, according to the officials aware of the matter.

The Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) is the largest health insurance scheme in the world, providing coverage of up to 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

“We have begun collecting data for the expansion of scheme. The aim is to include as many senior citizens as possible. The Asha and Anganwadi workers has been roped in for the purpose and they have been asked to visit houses and find out families that have seniors aged 70 years and above,” said a senior official.

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Promises related to healthcare benefits in poll manifesto

 The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), in its election manifesto had announced that all senior citizens above 70 years of age and the transgender community will be covered under the healthcare scheme.

The manifesto stated: “We have provided quality free health treatment of up to 5 lakh to poor families under Ayushman Bharat. We will continue to provide free health treatment by strengthening Ayushman Bharat and other such initiatives. We will expand the Ayushman Bharat Yojana to cover senior citizens and provide them access to free and quality healthcare.”

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In the Interim Budget 2024–25, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had declared that all three million Asha and Anganwadi workers will also be covered by the healthcare scheme and gave Ayushman Bharat a 10% increase in allocation at 7,500 crore.

The rollout for individuals above 70 years of age will be a focus area of the new union health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda in his second stint in the portfolio .

On health issues, the party had promised to organize regular Ayush camps to provide holistic healthcare solutions rooted in Ayurveda, Yoga and other traditional practices to promote active living and vitality of elders.

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Published: 11 Jun 2024, 06:03 PM IST

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