Every year 50-60 million people fall below the poverty line due to catastrophic health expenses. 70% of health expenses are out of pocket and mostly incurred in private health care. Public health care facilities are either overburdened or do not work. Health is the second biggest reason why low-income families take loan. Public expenditure on health is about 2% of the GDP and millions spent on top-down designed social security schemes don’t have the desired impact. These macro figures might look that a sub-Saharan African country is being talked about, but this is the abysmal state of health financing in India.
While low income families in India continue to be burdened by health events and consequent costs, it is their children who rarely get access to quality health care, be it preventive or curative, making them vulnerable to future health shocks. There have been several instances where a sick child’s parent has had to take loan for the child’s illness and gets pushed into a vicious cycle of debt. In some instances, the child has had to leave the school because parents could not anymore afford to send the child. Health insurance needed most by these families and their children is either not accessible or unaffordable and what is even unfair is that these children will never get to know or understand that there is a cheaper way of managing health care expenses called health insurance, only if they come together.
What if health insurance could be experienced by these children from low income families in a school setting -It would have two important effects- one, for the first time, these children would get meaningful health protection and second they would be introduced to and nudged towards the concept of health insurance at an impressionable age and become part of an insurable population, as they grow up to be adults.
This is the idea that we at Uplift Mutuals, the pioneer of mutual health microinsurance in India, is proposing to CSRs’ to partner with. Such a partnership could help Uplift enrol over 10,000,00 children ideally over a period of three years that will bring about a million families closer to the concept and experience of mutual health insurance.
Children from low income families studying in govt schools or trust schools are the perfect population for this idea to be implemented. Uplift is targeting children studying from 5th to 9th Standard to be part of this model.
This model of “Uplift Swasth School Biradaree” seeks partnership with CSR’s who see value in bringing Health Insurance education and experience to young minds. CSR’s can co-contribute a part of the cost for these children for a minimum period of three years.
The children studying in a school get access to Uplift’s innovative array of risk reduction services that include in- school access to a General Practitioner, access to discounted medicines, regular preventive health screenings, health coaching, network of care providers and financial aid of 4000 Rs twice in a year for certain health events. There is also an emergency medical helpline where a doctor can be accessed. All these is delivered through a SWASTH BIRADAREE game where children are recognized for participating in preventive health design and developing a responsible health behaviour towards themselves and their fellow students.
The programme doesn’t limit itself to the children only, as a health shock to the parents can also affect the child. Therefore, the benefits can be extended to the child’s parents, where they can join the scheme by paying an equal amount of contribution per annum.
For Uplift to deliver health services optimally a minimum of 1000 child should be supported in a school, for the health services to be delivered optimally.
The co-contribution for these children would be 600Rs/Child/Annum for Pune city, 700Rs/Child/Annum for Mumbai. Uplift is co contributing around 2400 Rs/Child/Annum in services thanks to the support by ICMIF Foundation.
The design of this programme will complement the recently announced Health Protection of the Scheme by the Government by creating a demand for it.
For schools other than in Pune City and Mumbai, a one-time cost of setting up the health care network and PTA meetings for the first two years will have to be additionally funded.
We invite CSR’s intending to or working with children in schools and on health, to invest in this a viable model that seeks to complement their ongoing initiatives and fulfil their Schedule VII compliances.
Individuals or a group of Individuals who want to sponsor such children can also do so.
We invite CSR’s to choose to co-fund from 1000 to 100,000 Children at a go or sponsor an entire school.
For more information and details, kindly write to Vrushali firstname.lastname@example.org