Uplift’s target population are families in the unorganized sector bracket of India (living in ghettos and villages) -mostly daily wage earners who generally have no access to social protection schemes.
With a daily income of 2-6 USD for an average family of four, health is not their prime concern till a destabilizing event happens. While on one hand this leads thefamily into a further downturn financially, into further poverty (as theyborrow or mortgage or sell), on the other timely access to quality care on reasonable prices remains a dream.
Insurance products in the market are out oftheir bound because of high premium while government schemes by their very design (the un/popular BPL measure) exclude them. If some families are fortunate to have BPL cards from govt sponsored health protection scheme they are always treated as end users who have no say in the design or delivery of such ascheme.
The Mutual model of Uplift addresses this by reaching out to such families through its member organizations who mostly provide small business loans to families. Upon enrolling as a member the family not only shares its financial risks that maybe caused due to health events but also shares prevention and guidance services and a multi layered network of healthcare providers. The families for the first time get involved in a process of being able to manage their health.
Access to Health Services especially for Health are the bedrock on which the Health Mutual model of Uplift stands. This access to quality health services is not only for curative but also for preventive services.The out patient network, the health check up camps, the health talks, the branch referral and guidance facility, the 24X7 helpline all provide the member with options to manage their health under medical guidance. Members have saved lakhs of rupees thanks to these systems.
Whether it is the product ,the benefits or the process, communities who contribute to Mutuals play the central role in the model developed by Uplift.Communities generally elect their representatives who are then trained by Uplift in managing their risk fund. This is a long drawn process that requires perseverance and systematic efforts.The role is akin to what members do in a self help group-only the group has to be much bigger.
Uplift manages its Mutual model by developing systems and standards and collecting almost every piece of information that should be collected. Uplift has devised standard processes for every aspect of the Mutuals programme and close handholding and supervision support is provided to communities.