Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) SEHAT scheme via video-conferencing to extend health insurance coverage to all residents of Jammu and Kashmir. The scheme will benefit 21 lakh eligible people on the basis of Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011, who will be able to avail free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh medical expense.

“This is a historic day for J&K. Every people of J&K will get benefits of Ayushman Bharat scheme. I wanted to launch this scheme yesterday on the occasion of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth anniversary. Atalji had a special connection with J&K, which is now prospering on his way of ‘Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat and Kashmiriyat,” said PM Modi.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the Union Territory’s Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, also spoke on the occasion.

“Today is very significant day for J&K. This is being launched a day after Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth anniversary. Everyone is aware of Vajpayeeji’s sentiment for Kashmir,” Union home minister Amit Shah said.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the scheme will ensure universal health coverage and focus on providing financial risk protection and ensuring quality and affordable essential health services to all individuals and communities.

The scheme will provide free-of-cost insurance cover to all residents of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, the PMO said, adding that it will extend financial cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family on a floater basis to all residents of the UT.

Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) is a flagship health scheme of the central government and provides a cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. It covers 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families (about 53 crore beneficiaries). 

Launched in 2018, about 1.5 crore beneficiaries have received medical treatment in hospitals under the scheme.

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