NEW DELHI: The government is all set to roll out a dedicated health insurance scheme for transgender persons from September to provide a composite health package, which will also cover components of hormone therapy and gender re-affirmation surgery, which can be redeemed at all private and government healthcare facilities empanelled under the
Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana
. An ‘Ayushman Bharat TG Plus Card’ will be generated for verified beneficiaries.
On Wednesday, the
ministry of social justice
and empowerment will sign a memorandum of understanding with the
National Health of Authority
for providing this medical package. It is learnt that within a week its on-ground execution will start to enable TG persons to access the scheme’s benefits.
Only those TG persons can avail of this facility who hold a TG certificate and ID card issued by the
National Portal for Transgender Persons
as per self-perceived identity of applicant in keeping with the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019. Also those already getting such benefits under any other central or state sponsored schemes will not be eligible.
The benefits will be available to all eligible TG persons irrespective of their economic status. According to officials the TG beneficiary possessing the registration ID or the certificate serial number issued from the national TG portal would be authorised to access the benefits from any empanelled hospital and get their details entered/verified on a real time basis following the current procedure for
beneficiaries. After the verification process of the TG certificate, the eligible applicant will be issued the health card.
Under this initiative, TG persons will receive a medical cover of Rs 5 lakh per year and the cost would be fully funded by the ministry of social justice and empowerment under its ‘Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise (SMILE)’ scheme. The whole process for the beneficiary will be completely cashless.
As per the latest data available since the launch of the national portal in November 2020, so far 10,639 TG persons have applied for certificates. As of Tuesday, 8,080 TG persons have been issued TG Unique IDs. Around 2,314 applications are pending approval as per the portal.
Officials are hoping that after the rollout of the health package begins many more TG persons will come forward to register on the TG portal for certification, now that they will be able to avail the health benefit under this programme. “TG persons save many years of their earnings to be able to get expensive gender re-assignment surgeries. Now under this health package they will be able to get the treatment,” an official explained.