Covid19 Under Ayushman Bharat

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Charu Shrivastava, last updated on 12 December 2023
Covid19 Under Ayushman Bharat

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit us, the whole world came to a standstill. COVID–19 further added up to the chaos with the loss of jobs, savings, and lives. Any country as densely populated as India would have been crippled. Fortunately, India was not amongst them. Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme established by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, is a government-funded health insurance scheme. It helps the poor families that belong to economically backward communities with free access to healthcare through insurance.

What Is Ayushman Bharat Yojana?

Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), a flagship program, was developed to cover the healthcare needs of economically backward families in India who cannot afford healthcare expenditures. The scheme not only covers all the public hospitals but also empanelled private health care facilities.

Ayushman Bharat played an essential role in providing free testing and treatment for all the citizens of India in public and private empanelled hospitals across the country. The average hospitalisation of COVID-positive patients is seven to 10 days; therefore, all the eligible patients admitted to the general ward for COVID-19 treatment were covered under AB-PMJAY at zero cost.

How did Ayushman Bharat (AB-PMJAY) help in COVID–19 during the lockdown?

The utilisation of the Ayushman Bharat scheme was found to be very successful after studying the number of patients admitted during the second wave of the pandemic. The Ayushman Bharat Yojana serves both the young and old populations equally. Generally, it was found that people have been using this scheme more via private empanelled hospitals for COVID – 19 treatments. Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) has been the backbone connecting all the healthcare facilities in the country and making it easily accessible to all the citizens of India using a simple app called ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Health Account).

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COVID Package by Ayushman Bharat

AB-PMJAY, the National Health Authority of India, developed special COVID testing and free treatment packages for all Indians. Additionally, most states elected to use their systems for COVID testing and treatment while making it accessible. Citizens from all across the nation can take advantage of this program's benefits and receive cashless treatment at any public or private empanelled hospital. Under AB-PMJAY, the COVID package includes the following:

  1. Medicines and Drugs
  2. Oxygen Supply
  3. Registration Charges
  4. Bed Charges (general ward if undergoing surgery)
  5. Anaesthesia and Blood Transfusion Charges
  6. Operation Theatre Charges and Cost of Surgical Appliances
  7. Consultant fees of the Surgeons, Anaesthesiologists, Medical Practitioners, etc
  8. Nursing and Boarding Charges
  9. Pathology and Radiology Tests (X-ray, Computed Tomography Scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
  10. Charges for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Masks, Sanitisers, including all materials for the Treatment
  11. Food Supply to the Patients

Benefits of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) for Citizens During COVID-19

People could access hospitals, get in touch with doctors across the nation from the comfort of their homes, or virtually book a doctor's appointment via AB-PMJAY. Without a computer, anyone might visit a nearby health and wellness centre and consult a doctor there utilising telemedicine services, which facilitate doctor-patient video calls. Citizens can gain these advantages by signing up for ABDM. Every citizen who has enrolled will be able to:

  1. Access various healthcare services provided by the hospitals across the ABDM platform – unique health ID 
  2. Digitally access or share health records from any healthcare facility across the ABDM platform – paperless health records
  3. Avail telemedicine facilities provided by healthcare providers to various locations. This facility allows citizens to book an appointment virtually and consult their chosen doctor either physically or virtually using the ABHA app.

Ayushman Bharat on Sabka Saath and Sabka Viswas

According to the data analysis conducted post-COVID-19 lockdown, it was found that the AB-PMJAY was under-utilised during the lockdown period as compared to the pre-lockdown period. This change must be due to various reasons like supply, demand, and infrastructure. Some of the surveys conducted state that the major reasons were due to:

  1. During COVID-19, the cost increased even for non-COVID-19 services due to the requirement of increased personal protective equipment.
  2. The distancing of patients in the general ward led to a scarcity of beds.
  3. The capacity of the hospital and the requirement of resources for patients increased.

Ayushman Bharat was introduced in 2018 to build a resilient and sturdy healthcare system for citizens of India, under the foundation of the Prime Minister’s vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat'' (self-sufficient India). This was launched to bring all the three different types of healthcare facilities – primary, secondary, and tertiary together to provide healthcare services and quality care closer to the communities. This was strengthened further with the Ayushman Digital Mission of AB-PMJAY by bringing all these facilities under one roof digitally.


When all the other sectors of the world were paused due to COVID-19, healthcare activities in India thrived. As a country, we should be proud of ourselves for being able to provide healthcare facilities to treat and vaccinate the citizens living in the remotest end of the country.

HexaHealth is where surgery is simplified. We take care of all phases of surgery for you so that you don’t have to worry about hospital admissions, insurance claims, and paperwork. We will connect you to the top Joint Commission International (JCI) and National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) accredited hospitals with well-experienced surgeons. You will be connected to our personal care buddy, who will walk you through the entire process and will be there to guide you through your admissions, treatment, and recovery process. Therefore, please don’t hesitate to reach us at our website HexaHealth.

Frequently Asked Questions on Covid-19 under Ayushman Bharat

Q. Does the Ayushman Bharat programme pay the cost of coronavirus testing?
A. Yes, coronavirus testing and treatment are available for free.

Q. When beneficiaries are hospitalised, whom to contact?
A. For cashless care at the hospital, beneficiaries must speak with Ayushman Mitra at the empanelled facility.

Q. Will programme participants have to pay for the healthcare coverage provided by the programme?
A. At accredited public and private hospitals, all beneficiaries are eligible for free tertiary and secondary hospital care for the packages listed under the scheme.

Q. How do refugees from Kashmir obtain an Ayushman card?
A. Beneficiaries of the PMJAY are determined by SECC/RSBY statistics on eligible families. Families that receive HHID through the SECC are qualified for the programme.

Q. Does Covid-19 treatment for those over 80 years old fall under Ayushman insurance coverage?
A. There is no restriction on family size or age under the plan.

Updated on : 12 December 2023


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More


Charu Shrivastava

Charu Shrivastava

BSc. Biotechnology I MDU and MSc in Medical Biochemistry (HIMSR, Jamia Hamdard)

2 Years Experience

Skilled in SEO and passionate about creating informative and engaging medical content. Her proofreading and content writing for medical websites is impressive. She creates informative and engaging content that educ...View More

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