The YCFHCS uses the cooperative societies’ convening power and the support of the Department of Co-operatives as a mechanism for introducing and marketing affordable health insurance.
The YCFHCS was introduced in 2003, allowing any farmer who is a member of a cooperative society in Karnataka to access medical treatment and medical procedures via membership in the YCFHCS scheme. The scheme now covers several million farmers and peasants who pay an annual premium of Rupees 60 (USD 1.50) for comprehensive coverage of all surgical procedures and outpatient care.
The plan administration relies on various actors: the government of Karnataka for partial subsidy of benefit, the Karnataka State Co-operative Department for communication of the plan, co-operative societies for enrolling members, co-operative banks to assist in premium collection, Family Health Plan Ltd for the administration of the claims and a network of hospitals to deliver the benefits.
An evaluation of the Yeshasvini scheme was recently published in Health
Economics. The following is an excerpt from the evaluation abstract: "Generally, the programme is found to have increased utilisation of health-care services, reduced out-of-pocket spending, and ensured better health and economic outcomes. ...however, these effects vary across socio-economic groups and medical episodes. The programme operates by bringing the direct price of health-care down but the extent to which this effectively occurs across medical episodes is an empirical issue. Further, the effects are more pronounced for the better-off households."
Reported results available.