ACCESS Health India Facilitates Rollout of Innovative Financing Product for Hospital Staff
As a part of the Fintech for Health program, ACCESS Health India, in partnership with Entitled, recently launched the Entitled Sanjeevani health card for employees of the Cardiac Care Center at Durgabhai Deshmukh Hospital in Hyderabad, India. The Entitled Sanjeevani health card is a bundled financing product for lower- to middle-income employees and is customized to the income level and preference of the staff. The product offers a combination of pre-approved health loans, micro-savings, and accident cover.
Through the Fintech for Health program, ACCESS Health is matching low and middle income groups needing access to financing for health, with innovative affordable tech-enabled financing products. With this partnership, ACCESS Health supported Entitled to identify a willing healthcare provider, design features and limits suited to the provider, engage regularly with the users to ensure maximum uptake and avail benefits.
Entitled is a fintech company that aims to enable access to financial services for more than 34 Million blue and pink-collar workers in India. Entitled partners with factory and industry employers to provide access to emergency funds, rewards, discounts on healthcare and daily essentials, saving programs, and counseling for its workers. The B2B2C model allows us to reduce risk and lower the distribution cost to open up the opportunity to reach a large unserved base of blue-collar workers. This target segment typically does not have reserve funds or the habit of saving for healthcare emergencies.
Through this program, ACCESS Health has helped Entitled foray into serving the healthcare worker segment, thereby supporting pink-collar workers such as nurses and blue-collar workers such as security and housekeeping personnel in hospitals to meet their health financing needs. ACCESS Health is also working with Entitled to explore more providers and other types of firms in the health sector, such as health device manufacturers, whose employees can benefit from this bundled financing product.
The Sanjeevani health card has a host of useful features for each employee and has been made available at zero cost to the employee or the employer. The card entitles them to a pre-approved credit limit up to twice their monthly salary for health and wellness expenditures which can be used for all family members. The credit limit of up to INR 7,500 (~USD 103) for out-of-pocket expenses like pharmacy bills, lab tests, OPD, and up to INR 50,000 (~USD 685) for hospitalization expenses. The loan comes at a flat interest rate of 1.75% per month and a flexible repayment structure ranging from 3-12 months, through a digital EMI option.
The user can avails doctor on call and discounts of 20 to 30 percent on out-of-pocket expenses on medicines and diagnostics at a monthly membership of INR 99 (~USD 1). Other add-on options are term life insurance and hospital cash plans. Perhaps, the most well-received feature was the micro-saving option, with the flexibility to save in some or all months and with the option of instant withdrawal in case of emergency. The users will have access to an emergency fund by investing as low as INR 200 (~USD 3) in a liquid mutual fund plan, which is a low-risk plan with an average annualized return of around 6 percent. Entitled is also placing one local staff, who will regularly visit the hospital to counsel the employees, and easily clarify issues with enrollment or availing benefits from the Sanjeevani card.
More than 600 million Indians, which is about half the country’s population, are considered middle class. Considering income and Purchasing Power Parity thresholds, the lower-middle class lives on $2 to $4 per person per day and upper-middle on $6-10 per person per day. Many of the lower middle workers have limited access to suitable health financing options and even lower awareness of their benefits. There needs to be a focus on this segment because many poor have transitioned into this section of society and it will take only one economic shock for them to slide right to the level that they worked hard to climb out of.
The collaboration was made possible through Fintech for Health, a program by ACCESS Health and Metlife Foundation, which aims to provide faster, and more accessible and affordable financing options for unmet healthcare needs.