Punjab on Monday became the first state in the country to red-flag various provisions of the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) when it refused to sign a pact with the Centre to implement the same.
Punjab Health Minister Brahm Mohindra cited a range of concerns around “Modicare” to defer the signing of the MoU. He said the state had several existing health insurance schemes and a new one was in the pipeline.
“We are still exploring the possibility of convergence of existing schemes with the new Central scheme. We need all concerns addressed for synergistic amalgamation. Once this is done, we will consider signing the MoU with the National Health Agency,” Mohindra told Health Minister JP Nadda, who was in Shimla for a north zone workshop where MoUs were signed with Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, J&K, Haryana and Chandigarh.
Punjab’s major concern relates to the financial contribution of the state to the NHPS which says the Centre will share 60 per cent cost and the state 40 per cent.
“But the Centre will release 60 per cent of the national ceiling rate as determined by the Union Government and this rate is yet to be disclosed and shared with states. The Centre won’t contribute 60 per cent of the actual premium rate achieved through the open tendering process conducted by the state which means the state will have to make 100 per cent contribution on account of excess amount of premium over and above the national ceiling limit the Centre fixes,” the Punjab Health Minister reasoned.