While speaking to the press V.K. Paul, member, Niti Aayog said, “We have to link the name of the person in the list with the beneficiary. There has to be a bridge to identify them. That bridge can be Aadhaar or any other means of identification. Aadhaar is not a must to access the services of the Ayushman Bharat.”
The Union Health Ministry has issued a press release saying:
Notification of the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission being issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare 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 Union Health Minister, J P Nadda confirmed that “we will provide services to all eligible beneficiaries with or without Aadhaar cards.”
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 number. Furthermore, it also makes the implementation agencies accountable for setting up of Aadhaar enrolment centers for the beneficiaries who are not yet enrolled for Aadhaar, at convenient locations.
Under the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ health protection scheme, poor and needy people from across the country will get a health insurance of Rs 5 lakhs. Five lakh health and wellness centres would be set-up, and primary health centres would be upgraded. 10 crore poor families will get financial cover.