Aadhaar ‘Desirable’ But Not Must For Ayushman Bharat Scheme, Says Health Ministry

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New Delhi:Union health ministry under JagatPrakashNaddaissued a statement saying Aadhaar was ‘desirable’, but not must for AyushmanBharat scheme. The statement was issued a week after issuing a notification mandating beneficiaries to furnish Aadhaar to avail the Rs 5 lakh health insurance under Ayushman Bharat scheme.

Under Ayushman Bharat, Rs 5 lakh insurance cover for hospitalisation is given to 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families.

“A beneficiary eligible for receiving the benefits under the scheme shall be required to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication,” read the gazette notification dated July 4.

“Any beneficiaries desirous of availing the benefits under the scheme who is not yet enrolled for Aadhar, shall have to apply for Aadhar by March 31, 2019,” it said.

On Thursday, the ministry issued a statement saying, “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.”

Ayushman Bharat’s CEO InduBhushan said, “We will use Aadhaar data as a mode of authentication to reduce fraud. We have identified beneficiaries and we will ensure that the person who has come to use the cover is the same person.”“Our preferred mode is Aadhaar but it won’t be mandatory,” she said.

After the Centre had made Aadhaar compulsory for several services, including mobile phones, bank accounts, and other welfare schemes, the Supreme Court in March ruled that the biometric ID was not mandatory until further orders.

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