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219. Uplift makes healthcare affordable for India’s poor

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Coop Name: Uplift Mutuals N° of Employees: 12
City: Karve Nagar Pune N° of Members: 150000
Country: India Year of formation: 2004
Website: http://www.upliftmutuals.org
About this coop:

With over 100,000 members and growing, Uplift Mutuals has pioneered how communities can share their health/life risks (and not transfer them) when inbuilt as a system and with technical guidance and support. Facilitated by a strong technical support team and an effective distribution model, Uplift presents a unique value chain where communities, development organisations, technical support teams, health care providers and other stakeholders come together to demonstrate an ecosystem that runs on trust and mutuality.

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Jayshree Bhika Naik lives in a slum in Pune, a relatively prosperous Indian city and once the centre of Indian politics.

She is one of about 30 per cent of the Pune population which is slum-dwelling. She works as a house maid while her husband runs a small catering business.

Nevertheless, a slum-dwelling existence is no barrier to medical care in India. Through microinsurance products offered by cooperative insurer Uplift Mutuals which recognises that the insured need not only health cover, but also advice and assistance in times of need, individuals like Jayshree Bhika Naik and her family are insured against illness.

When Naik’s 12 year old son Rahul became ill with a condition associated with high blood pressure, first Uplift assisted her by taking she and her son to the hospital. Later their insurance paid for her son’s 15 day stay in a private hospital, a treatment which saved his life.

Total cost of care: INR 100,000 ($US 2,222). For the Naik family, this would have been an unimaginable solution had they not been insured. Her son’s medicine she paid for with a loan from the family she worked for as a maid and repaid after she was reimbursed by Uplift.

“I am really satisfied, very happy. Your help came like God. If I was not Uplift Mutuals member, nobody would have helped me. But you gave me proper guidance. I really thank you. My boy is now safe,” says Naik.

This story is an IYC Yearbook feature:http://ica.coop/en/iycbook

Author of this story
Kate Askew
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