The Indian government has launched several geriatric programs that improved the life expectancy of elderlies, which resulted to a boom of the senior population.
Statistical reports have it that by 2050, the total number of senior Indian citizens will take up a quarter of the country’s entire population. The ability to deal with medical expenses and at the same time save money that sees through, during their retirement years play significant roles in prolonging their life and in making their situations manageable.
The government of India launched pension schemes and coverages that provide elderlies with a steady flow of income. At the same time, there are programs that help seniors meet medical expenses that could cause their pension or retirement income to dwindle easily.
Below are some of the most popular examples of the programs introduced by the Indian government to help Hindustanis advance in age and enter retirement. The goal of the programs is to help senior citizens maintain good health and at the same time preserve their rightful place in communities.
A program introduced in 2010, the Nat’l Programme for the Health Care of Elderly or the NPHCE, focuses on providing both preventive and promotive care. The goal is to help elderlies face issues encountered in maintaining overall health. The NPHCE program is a district-level program that includes providing dedicated health facilities in primary health centres, community health centres, sub-centres and district hospitals, (CHC), (PHC), and sub-centres (SC) levels. Through the State Health Society, seniors can avail of such facilities either free of charge or largely subsidized by the government through the NPHCE program.
Through this scheme, senior Indians aged 60 and above and belonging to the below poverty line (BPL cardholders) are provided with assisted-living devices to address locomotor disability; and physical aids to help with poor vision, hearing impairment and loss of teeth. Launched in 2017, the scheme is currently implemented in 260 districts, benefitting almost 0.5 million senior citizens, to which 30% of the beneficiaries in every district are senior women.
Senior Citizens Saving Scheme is a government-backed savings account offered to local senior Indians aged above 60 years old. It’s actually a 5-year time deposit that earns monthly interest but can be extended for three nore years. The interest rate set by the government in 2019 is at 8.6%, to which interest is accrued, compounded and credited quarterly.
Interest income earned by seniors in this investment program are eligible for tax exemptions. However, withdrawal of the principal amount prior to the end of the 5-year term is subjct to a 1.5% penalty based on the amount withdrawn.
A program launched by India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to cover for the hospitalization expenses of 100 million Indians belonging to poor and vulnerable households. The hospitalization coverage is for secondary and tertiary hospitalization expenses of up to Rs. 5 lakhs (.5 million rupees) for every eligible family.
It’s also worth mentioning that the government of India has instituted a PCD pharma franchise program to ensure the affordability of generic medicines in the country. Through a private pharma company arrange for the distribution and sale of generic drugs across all Indian regions, to prevent drug manufacturers from manipulating the prices of generic medicines.