On the event of Rajyotsava in November, the Karnataka State Government will be gifting universal health cards to 1.4 crore families living in the state, under which their complete healthcare will be covered.

Congress-led Karnataka Government has decided to provide efficient healthcare across the state under single cover of a universal health card. The healthcare card will be issued to 1.4 crore families, which covers most of the population of Karnataka; these cards will be gifted to people on the event of Rajyotsava on Number 1, 2017. The programme is called as Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and it will make all 1.4 crore households eligible for cashless treatment of up to Rs 1.5 lakh from government and private hospitals in Karnataka.

Each UHC card will be linked with citizens’ respective Aadhaar cards which help in keeping records as well as avoid overlapping of funds and payments. There will be two categories under UHC: Category A will include farmers, financially deprived families, labourers, all SC/ST communities, members of cooperative societies, government employees, accredited media persons and elected representatives; whereas the rest will fall under Category B. The people who are under Category A will be eligible to access cashless treatments, while Category B citizens will have to make co-payments after 30% reimbursement from the Government. And as per government’s stats, around 1.05 crore households fall under Category A, which means 83% people will not require to pay a single rupee at the time or treatment under UHC.

The remaining 17% people i.e. 30 lakh families will have to enrol their Aadhaar details online with a payment of Rs 300 from rural areas and Rs 700 from urban areas, per person. Apart from that, an annual premium will also be collected from category B beneficiaries. And after treatment, category B citizens will also require to make co-payments. With the motto of ‘Treatment first, payment later’, the Karnataka government aims to develop an unbiased system which provides faster in time of emergencies. The UHC card covers all primary, secondary, tertiary and emergency cares at any government hospital, medical college hospital or private hospitals in Karnataka. This scheme will cost the government around Rs 869 crores annually but it will significantly help in making quick medical help accessible easily, without worrying about money.