Yeshasvini Cooperative Farmers Health Care Scheme
Country of Operation
- Yeshasvini Co-operative Farmers Health Care TrustGovernment
- Family Health Plan LimitedFor-profit
Target income level
- Lower-middle income (20-40%)
- Middle-income (40-60%)
SummaryYeshasvini is a health insurance scheme for rural farmers and peasants in Karnataka state, India.
In Karnataka, 70% of its 45 million inhabitants work in agriculture, leaving them isolated to accessing quality, affordable health insurance. The Yeshasvini Co-operative Farmers Health Care Scheme (YCFHCS) identified that rural farmers and peasants in Karnataka, traditionally lacking access to health insurance, were connected through cooperative societies and that all such cooperative societies are required to be registered with the Department of Cooperatives. 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.
Key program components
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."
35,814 farmers have availed (valued at Rs. 66 lakhs) free OPD facilities as of May 31, 2004.