Thiruvananthapuram: It is reported that Kerala refused to sign the memorandum with the Centre to join the Ayushman Bharat scheme. Kerala will not join Central government's ambitious health insurance scheme called Ayushman Bharat, which was launched on September 23.

Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) - will provide financial protection (Swasthya Suraksha) to 10.74 crore poor, deprived rural families and identified occupational categories of urban workers’ families as per the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data (approximately around 50 crore beneficiaries). It will offer a benefit cover of Rs 5,00,000 per family per year (on a family floater basis). 

Apart from Kerala, States including Delhi, Odisha and Rajasthan have expressed reluctance to be part of the scheme. The State government will take the final decision on joining the scheme when Chief Minister returns from the US.

The preliminary studies suggest that Kerala would have to pay more premium than the Centre if the southern State joins the scheme. This has been made clear during the discussion with the Union health ministry. 

The amount a patient may get will be Rs 150 in the new scheme, which is lesser than existing projects in Kerala. If the Centre solves this issue, then Kerala might join the scheme, said health minister KK Shailaja.