New Delhi, July 12: Amid reports of Aadhaar being a must-have document to avail benefits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme, the government has issued a clarification on Wednesday saying the use of Aadhaar is desirable and is not mandatory.
Union Health Minister J P Nadda on Thursday confirmed that “we will provide services to all eligible beneficiaries with or without Aadhaar cards.” Under the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ national health insurance scheme, the government is believed to offer cashless hospitalisation up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year to beneficiaries belonging to financially vulnerable households.
The ABNHPM guidelines on beneficiary identification very clearly state that beneficiaries can bring Aadhar or any other valid government id(s) decided by the State if they do not have an Aadhaar.
The clarification comes after some media reports said that the use of Aadhaar Card will be a “must” to avail benefits under the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission. Notification of the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission being issued by MoHFW under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, merely enables the implementation agencies to ask for the beneficiary Aadhaar Card to authenticate their identity.
“In order to authenticate the identity of beneficiaries accurately, the use of Aadhaar card is preferable, but it is not a “must”. There shall be no denial of benefit for want of Aadhaar number”, the release added.
The draft notification also provides for exception handling mechanism, viz production of alternate identification mechanisms such as Ration Card, Voter ID Card, MGNREGA Card etc. (as mentioned in the notification) in case the beneficiary does not have an Aadhaar No. Furthermore, it also makes the implementation agencies accountable for setting up of Aadhaar enrollment centres for the beneficiaries who are not yet enrolled for Aadhaar, at convenient locations.