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On Sunday, the Punjab government announced to bring over 4,500 journalists into the ambit of its recently launched universal health insurance scheme, Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana. All journalists officially recognised by the state or holding yellow cards will be eligible to be covered under the scheme.
The state will bear the entire premium under the scheme and nearly 400 private hospitals have been enlisted. Under the scheme, the beneficiaries are provided secondary and tertiary care treatment for which all public hospitals above the Community Health Centre level are enlisted.
Extending the scheme beyond BPL units, the state government has planned to extend the scheme to 42.5 lakh other families.
A few months ago, the state government had decided to increase the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana scheme to provide a cashless health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year. The cost of the premium for 14.86 lakh families are covered under this scheme and it will be borne by the centre and the state in the 60:40 ratio. For the rest of the beneficiaries including the journalists, the state will bear the entire premium cost.