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Home / Health Insurance / Articles / Government Schemes / 17 Types of Government Health Insurance Schemes in India

17 Types of Government Health Insurance Schemes in India

Team AckoApr 30, 2024

Governments worldwide work towards providing good quality healthcare for their people. Creating awareness about health issues, ensuring strong infrastructure, and promoting health insurance are productive activities conducted by the authorities for people’s welfare. The Indian Government also undertakes such measures from time-to-time. Read ahead to know more about Government health insurance schemes in India.




What is a Government Health Insurance Scheme?

Newspapers often carry headlines like:

  • Get 5 lakh health insurance by Government,

  • Government health insurance for senior citizens,

  • Prime Minister health insurance scheme 2018 (or specifically, Modi health insurance scheme 2018)

And a lot more varying from one Indian state to another. Such headlines are about Government health insurance schemes.

A Government Health Insurance Scheme is a State or Central Government powered health insurance initiative for its citizens. It is directed towards enhancing the healthcare quotient of the region by offering low-priced insurance policies with a sizable sum insured. Such policies are usually offered on an annual basis.

Regular Health Insurance Plans vs Government Health Insurance Scheme


Regular Health Insurance

Government Health Insurance Scheme

Sum Insured

Maximum coverage up to Rs 1 crore

Maximum coverage up to Rs 5 lakh


Rs 200 per month onwards (plan-dependent)

Rs 100 per month onwards or fully paid by the government (plan-dependent)

Private Hospital Room

Available (depending on the plan)

May or may not be available

Policy Purchase

Instant policy purchase

Policy purchase may take time

Network Hospitals

Extensive network of private hospitals

A large number of public and private network hospitals

Maternity Benefits

Available (depending on the plan)

Available (limited to a single child in some cases)

Ambulance Charges

Available in most plans

Available in select plans

Domiciliary Hospitalisation

Available (depending on the plan)

Not available

Online Renewal

Option for online renewal

May or may not be renewed online

Cumulative Bonus

Available if no claims were filed in the previous policy year

Not available

Health Check-up

Covered in some plans

Not covered

Monthly Premium Instalment

Available in some plans

Not available

Tax Benefits

Available under the Income Tax Act 1961

Not available

Detailed comparison between Regular Health Insurance Plans Vs. Government Health Insurance Scheme

Here is a deep dive into differences between Regular health insurance and Government health insurance schemes:

Eligibility: Regular health insurance plans are offered by private companies and are available to individuals or groups without restrictions. Anyone can enrol if they meet the criteria set by the insurer. Government health insurance schemes have defined eligibility criteria mainly based on income level, employment status, age and other factors. They primarily focus on economically weaker sections.

Premiums & Costs: Premiums for regular health plans are determined by private insurers depending on age, location, sum insured and various risk factors. This can result in high out-of-pocket costs for policyholders. Public funding heavily subsidised government schemes to make premiums affordable for target beneficiary groups. Hence, out-of-pocket expenditure is lower.

Coverage: Regular health plans provide customised coverage options for policyholders. One can choose plans with higher coverage, but the premiums are higher. Government schemes define a standardised basic coverage package focusing on essential healthcare. Customizable benefit options may not be available.

Provider Choice: Regular health insurance plans allow policyholders to access private hospitals and healthcare providers of their choice for treatment. Government schemes have defined provider networks as specified in the scheme. The choice of hospitals may be relatively narrow.

Pre-existing Conditions: Regular health plans may exclude pre-existing medical ailments from coverage for the first 2-4 years based on policy terms and conditions. Government schemes also provide coverage for pre-existing health conditions without prolonged waiting periods.

List of 17 Government Health Insurance Schemes in India:

1) Ayushman Bharat:

This scheme came into existence because of recommendations made by the National Health Policy. Ayushman Bharat Yojana is designed keeping in mind Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Health services in India are largely segmented and Ayushman Bharat aims to make them comprehensive. It is about looking at the health sector as a whole and ensure continuous care for the people of India.

There are two components related to Ayushman Bharat: Health and Wellness Centres (HWC) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY). 150000 HWCs have been created in order to ensure better healthcare for the people. These HWCs are transformed versions of earlier initiatives like Sub Centres and Primary Health Centres. The PM-JAY is a health insurance scheme for the poor. It offers a health cover of Rs. 5 lakhs per family on an annual basis, and the payable premium is Rs. 30.

Also, check: Health Insurance for COVID-19

2) Awaz Health Insurance Scheme:

This is a health insurance cover for migrant workers and is initiated by the Government of Kerala. It also offers insurance for death by accident for labourers. The scheme was launched in the year 2017 and targeted 5 lakh inter-state migrant labourers working in Kerala. The health insurance coverage offered under Awaz Health Insurance is Rs.15000, while the cover for death is Rs.2 lakh.

This policy can be obtained by labourers falling in the age group of 18 to 60. They shall be provided with an Awaz Health Insurance card, post submitting and processing of enrolment details pertaining to biometric information and other work-related documents.

3) Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana:

The Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana (AABY) is meant for people involved in certain vocations such as Carpentry, Fishing, Handloom weaving, etc. There are 48 such defined vocations. Before 2013, there were two policies of similar nature, AABY and Janashree Bima Yojana (JBY). After 2013, JBY was merged with AABY.

The premium for a Rs.30000 insurance policy is Rs. 200 for a year. The eligibility criteria for this policy is that one should be a family head or an earning member of one’s family (around the poverty line) and should be performing one of the 48 mentioned vocations.

4) Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana:

The Rajasthan Government supports insurance initiatives towards its citizens under the Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana. This is a cashless claims scheme for rural people of Rajasthan. There is no prescribed age limit for availing the benefits of this scheme.

Those who are a part of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) are also qualified for this insurance policy. This scheme covers hospitalization expenses for general illness as well as critical illnesses as per the terms and conditions. It covers both in-patient as well as out-patient expenses.

5) Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS):

As the name suggests, this policy is initiated by India’s Central Government. Central Government employees are eligible for this policy. For example, Supreme Court judges, Certain Railway Board employees, etc. This policy has been active for six decades and has covered more than 35 lakh employees and pensioners.

Hospitalisation,, as well as domiciliary care, are covered as per this plan’s terms and conditions. The Central Government Health Insurance Scheme covers Allopathy and Homeopathy as well. It is available in 71 cities and the plan is to expand the scope to more areas.

6) Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Insurance Scheme:

This is a state government scheme. It is promoted by the Tamil Nadu Government in association with United India Insurance Company Ltd. The Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Insurance Scheme is a family floater plan designed for quality health care.

One can claim for hospitalisation expenses up to Rs. 5 lakhs under this policy. Select government and private hospitals are a part of this scheme. People residing in Tamil Nadu earning less than Rs. 75000 annually are eligible for this scheme. More than a thousand procedures are covered under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Insurance Scheme.

Also, read: Amma Two Wheeler Scheme for TN

7) Employees’ State Insurance Scheme:

A huge number of people worked in factories post-independence in India. The working conditions were such that there were injuries and deaths as well. This is where the concept of insurance proved beneficial. Employees’ State Insurance Scheme was launched in 1952 to offer a financial cover in case of illness, disability or death faced by insured workers/employees.

Initially, only Kanpur and Delhi were considered, but the scope of the scheme expanded with time. This policy got an upgrade in the year 2015. Now, more than 7 lakh factories are a part of this scheme.

8) Karunya Health Scheme:

Kerala Government had launched this initiative in the year 2012. Karunya Health Scheme is directed towards providing Health Insurance for listed chronic illnesses. It is a Critical Illness plan for the poor and covers major diseases such as Cancer, Kidney Ailments, Heart-related medical issues, etc. 

Those below or near the poverty line can enrol themselves for this cover. Aadhaar Card and appropriate Income Certificate are needed for this scheme. There were rumours that this scheme has been abolished, however, they were just rumours as this scheme is still active.

Check: 10 Things to Consider Before Buying Health Insurance

9) Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana:

This policy is initiated by the Government of Maharashtra, for the betterment of its downtrodden people. Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana was renamed as Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana in the year 2017.

Farmers from select districts and people below and around the poverty line across all districts are eligible for this scheme. It is a family cover with a benefit of Rs. 150000. The diseases mentioned as inclusions in the scheme shall be covered from day one, without any waiting period unless specified.

Also, check: Arogya Sanjeevani Health Insurance

10) Mukhyamantri Amrutum Yojana:

The Government of Gujarat launched the Mukhyamantri Amrutum Yojana in the year 2012 for the benefit of the state’s poor people. Lower middle-class families and those living below the poverty line are eligible for this cover.

This scheme offers a cover of Rs. 3 lakhs for a year on a family floater basis. Treatment can be availed in different types of hospitals such as public hospitals, private hospitals, trust-based hospitals, Grant-in-Aid hospitals, etc.

11) Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana:

This scheme came into existence to offer accident insurance to the people of India. In 2016, it was observed that only 20% of the Indian citizens had an insurance cover. However, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana aspires to change this statistic in a positive manner.

People aged 18 to 70 and having a bank account can avail of the benefits of this scheme. This policy offers an annual cover of Rs. 1 lakh for partial disability and Rs. 2 lakhs for total disability/death for a premium of Rs. 12. The premium gets debited automatically from the insured person’s bank account.

12) Dr YSR Aarogyasri Health Care Trust Andhra Pradesh State Government:

The Andhra Pradesh Government along with the Dr YSR Aarogyasri Trust, which works for health care, has come up with four beneficial welfare schemes. These schemes cater to different people and assist them in time of need. 

Here are the four schemes:

  1. Dr YSR Aarogyasri – This scheme is dedicated to the welfare of the poor.

  2. Aarogya Raksha – This scheme is designed to benefit people Above Poverty Line (APL). 

  3. Working Journalist Health Scheme – This scheme is for journalists and it offers cashless treatment in case of listed procedures. 

  4. Employee Health Scheme – This scheme is for the benefit of state government employees.

13) Telangana State Government – Employees and Journalists Health Scheme:

This health scheme is offered by the Telangana Government for its employees and journalists. It is beneficial for those who are currently working as well as those who have retired and are pensioners. The highlight of this scheme is the cashless treatment.

Beneficiaries can approach hospitals that are a part of this scheme and avail cashless treatment for certain treatments as per the terms and conditions. This helps the beneficiaries as they do not have to rush to gather funds for medical expenses in an emergency.

Also, read: Is Group Health Insurance Mandatory for Employees in India?

14) Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana:

This scheme is directed towards people working in the unorganised sector. Often, they are not covered under any insurance policy. And in such a scenario, if they fall ill – which happens frequently – their savings get exhausted. Thus, they are never able to ensure they have savings in the bank. This is where health insurance can prove helpful to them.

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana is initiated by the Indian Government’s Ministry of Labour and Employment. Individual workers in the unorganised sector and below the poverty line are covered under this scheme. The cover also extends to their family (maximum of five members).

15) Universal Health Insurance Scheme:

Globally, a lot of developed and developing nations have some sort of health care schemes for the benefit of their poor people. In India, the Universal Health Insurance Scheme aspires to do that and much more. This scheme can be availed by the poorest of the poor in the age group of 5 to 70 years.

Universal Health Insurance Scheme offers individual as well as group health insurance. It covers hospitalisation, accident, and disability. The premium varies as per the size of the family. Those falling under the poverty line need to show proper documentation to avail the policy.

16) Yeshasvini Health Insurance Scheme:

The Yeshasvini Health Insurance Scheme is promoted by the Karnataka State Government. It is meant for farmers and peasants associated with a co-operative society. More than 800 procedures (Orthopaedic, Neurology, Angioplasty, etc.) are covered as per this insurance policy.

Co-operative societies help the peasants and farmers to get enrolled in the Yeshasvini Health Insurance Scheme. The beneficiaries can avail health care through network hospitals. The scheme extends its benefits to the family members of the main beneficiary as well.

17) West Bengal Health Scheme:

This scheme was launched by the Government of West Bengal for its employees in the year 2008. It is also applicable for pensioners. It received an update in the year 2014 and was called West Bengal Health for All Employees and Pensioners Cashless Medical Treatment Scheme.

This cover is for an individual as well as the family members and the sum insured is Rs. 1 lakh. The policy covers OPD and surgeries as per the terms and conditions. Its exceptions include cosmetic surgeries and non-emergency procedures.

Top Features And Benefits of Government Health Insurance Plans:

Here’s a list of features and benefits of health insurance schemes:

  • Policies are offered at a low price.

  • Encourages people below the poverty line to avail insurance.

  • Ensures the poor people have some sort of insurance cover.

  • The government initiated policies help policyholders to feel assured.

  • Under government-sponsored plans, essential health benefits often have no lifetime limits. This provides ongoing care.

  • Government plans usually offer a standardised, comprehensive set of essential health benefits. This provides security.

  • Eligibility for some government plans follows you if you change jobs or locations, avoiding coverage gaps.

  • Government plans might also provide free preventive care like immunisations, cancer screenings, etc. This promotes wellness.

  •  Inclusion of Government as well as Private hospitals for better healthcare.

Wrapping up!

Government health insurance schemes play a pivotal role in expanding healthcare access and financial protection for the underprivileged sections in India. Though coverage may not be as extensive as private insurance plans, these schemes have benefited crores by providing affordable coverage for hospitalisation and critical illnesses. 

As India progresses towards its Universal Health Coverage goals, government-sponsored insurance will continue enabling the poor and vulnerable to avail quality healthcare without facing financial hardship. Overall, these schemes uplift lives and promote health equity.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why does the Government come up with public health insurance schemes?


The government comes up with public health insurance schemes for the welfare of its citizens so that they can avail of the benefits of health insurance at a nominal cost.

Can anyone buy Government Health Insurance Plans?


Different plans have different eligibility criteria. You can check the criteria and the documents required for the scheme and make your decision.

Are all Government schemes initiated by the Central Government?


Not all schemes are initiated by the Central Government. State Governments also come up with dedicated Govt. Mediclaim policy/health insurance schemes.

Can a valid Aadhaar work as an identity proof to avail Government Health Insurance Scheme?


A valid Aadhaar might work as an identity proof, but you will have to submit specific documents as required by the state/national health scheme to be a part of it.

Can Government health insurance schemes in India be purchased online?


While some Government health schemes in India enable direct bank debit facility, not all schemes can be purchased online.

What is the sum insured in case of Govt. health insurance schemes?


There is no standard sum insured. Different schemes offer different covers. Usually, the sum insured is on the lower side as compared to policies offered by private insurers.

What are the exceptions of Government Health Insurance Schemes?


Generally, cosmetic procedures are not a part of Government insurance policies. Different plans might have different exceptions, there it is advised to read the respective policy wordings carefully to know the exceptions and advantages of the health insurance scheme.

Where can I get more information about Government Health Insurance Schemes in India?


You can know more about Indian Government health insurance schemes on dedicated websites. A simple online search should lead you to specific websites.

How does a Government Health Insurance Scheme differ from regular health insurance plans?


Government Health Insurance Schemes are designed primarily for economically weaker sections, offering lower premiums and a standard package of health benefits, as opposed to regular health insurance plans that are available to all income groups with customisable coverage options.

What are the main benefits of enrolling in a Government Health Insurance Plan?


Benefits include low-cost policies, essential health benefits with no lifetime limits, access to preventive care, and comprehensive healthcare services, often extending coverage to Government and private hospitals.

What are the Most Popular Government Health Insurance Schemes in India?


Notable schemes include Ayushman Bharat, Awaz Health Insurance Scheme, Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana, Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana, Central Government Health Scheme, and many others, each with specific benefits and eligibility criteria.

Disclaimer: *Except for exclusions like maternity benefits, undisclosed diseases, etc. Please check policy wordings for more details.
**The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet; and is subject to changes. Please go through the applicable policy wordings for updated ACKO-centric content and before making any insurance-related decisions.

Explore More:

Megha Health Insurance Scheme to offer more benefits


– August 29, 2022

The health insurance coverage offered by Megha Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS) Phase-V and The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) has been increased by Rs. 30,000. These schemes initially offered a sum insured of Rs. 5 lakhs. This move has also increased the number of benefits under these health plans.

The Meghalayan population, except state and federal personnel, are eligible to receive benefits under MHIS Phase-V and PMJAY. The Meghalayan state administration recently agreed to a deal to implement MHIS Phase-V and PMJAY, with one of the leading general health insurance companies. Both programmes will go into effect on September 1.

The Validity Of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package Insurance Extended By 180 Days


– September 17, 2020

The health workers are one of the groups of people who are working tirelessly in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. They had been covered under health insurance and were offered the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan (PMGKY) package insurance. The validity for this scheme was initially declared as 90 days. However, now the validity has been extended by 180 days. Earlier, no one was aware of the magnitude of the spread of the virus and a short validity period was applied. The sum insured of the scheme is Rs 50 Lakh for people who come in direct contact with the people affected by COVID-19. The risk factor in providing health care services to patients affected by Coronavirus is very high as there can be a loss of life if an infection occurs. The major benefit of the plan is that the amount of premium is fully borne by the Indian Government’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Most of the frontline warriors like retired hospital staff, private hospital staff, workers on contract, volunteers, daily wage workers, outsourced staff, local urban bodies, etc. that provide health care services are covered under this insurance plan.

COVID-19: Insurance Scheme for Healthcare Workers and Professionals Extended Until September


– June 22, 2020

The Centre has decided to extend the personal accident insurance scheme for healthcare workers and professionals who are working in hospitals fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic in the country. The extension is until September even as the number of positive cases is rising day by day. The scheme was supposed to expire on 30 June 2020. New India Assurance was assigned the responsibility of implementing the insurance scheme in the country. As part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package, the scheme with a coverage of Rs. 50 lakh was launched in March this year by the Finance Minister of India to provide insurance coverage to healthcare providers in the country. Under the insurance package, about 22 lakh healthcare providers will receive a cover of Rs.50 lakh personal accident cover. This also includes health workers fighting the pandemic in the country. Paramedics, doctors, sanitation workers, nurses and others working in hospitals under the state and central government will be covered under the scheme.

COVID-19: Insurance Regulator Warns About Fake Online Insurance Offers During Lockdown


– April 21, 2020

The country’s insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has issued a warning to the general public about fake insurance being offered. The regulator especially cautioned the public about online insurance purchases. With online transactions on the increase during the lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, buying online insurance has become more prevalent with the public since they cannot venture out except to buy essential goods. The IRDAI said that the public should not fall for fake online insurance offers with a very low premium. It advised the public to buy insurance policies only from insurers which are registered with the IRDA. Customers are required to verify the insurance company before purchasing an insurance policy.

Expedite Coronavirus Claims Under Existing Policies: IRDAI


– March 12, 2020

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has issued a circular in regards to the treatment of coronavirus cases through health insurance policies. It has asked all health insurance companies to expedite coronavirus claims under existing policies. The regulator has issued guidelines under Section 14(2) of the IRDAI act. As per the circular, if the health insurance policy covers hospitalization, all cases related to Covid-19 or coronavirus must be processed quickly. All costs of medical care will be processed as per the terms and conditions of the contract. The regulator also said that before rejecting any claim, a thorough review is followed by the insurer so that there are no hardships to the policyholder. Coronavirus cases in India have been on the rise with 60 reported cases after Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala reported 14 new cases. The regulator also asked insurance companies to design new products which cover the cost of treatment of coronavirus.


  • IRDAI Circular:\_Layout.aspx?page=PageNo4057&flag=1


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