The scheme was first introduced in Budget 2018 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The scheme targets poor and deprived families, with an aim of providing health assurance of Rs 5 lakh cover per year to 10 crore families or around 50 crore Indians.
The National Health Agency (NHA), the apex body implementing the scheme, has launched a website - mera.pmjay.gov.in - and a helpline number - 14555.
Cashless and paperless services will be provided to the beneficiary at the point of service. The ones eligible can avail the benefits in government and listed private hospitals.
The eligibility is based on the deprivation criteria in the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) database. The beneficiaries will be identified on the deprivation categories (D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, and D7). For the urban areas, the 11 occupational criteria will determine entitlement.
There is no specification on the family size and age in the scheme. Aadhaar card is also not mandatory. To avail the scheme, one would only need to furnish a relevant identity card such as the voter's ID or the ration card.
The enrolled beneficiaries will be QR codes which have to be scanned for demographic authentication, identification and verification of his or her eligibility.
For hospitalisation, the beneficiaries' families are not required to pay anything, only if they go to a government or an enlisted private hospital.
Each enlisted hospital will have an 'Ayushman Mitra help desk' where a prospective beneficiary can get their documents verified for eligibility and enrolment to the scheme.
A total of 1,354 packages were included by the health ministry in the scheme. The package includes treatment for coronary bypass, knee replacements and stenting which will be provided 15-20 percent cheaper than the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).
Five states - Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab - have said they will not implement the programme until their concerns are addressed since they have better health assurance schemes.
The pilot launch of the scheme has started and it involves over 1280 hospitals.
Modi, while launching the scheme, said that the 2,500 modern hospitals will come up in tier-II and tier-III cities and will help in generating employment opportunities. "A total of 13,000 hospitals have become a part of the Ayushman Bharat scheme. Our government has taken a holistic approach to lay stress on affordable and preventive healthcare," he added.
"PMJAY-Ayushman Bharat is the biggest government-sponsored healthcare scheme in the world. The number of beneficiaries is almost equal to the population of Canada, Mexico and the US taken together," Modi said on Sunday.