Uplift has begun transferring claim amounts directly into members’ bank accounts thereby reducing the current claims turnaround time from 16 days to 10-13 days. Each time a claim amount is transferred into the bank account of a member, Uplift sends an SMS in the local language to the member informing her that the claim has been paid. This has been achieved by a slight modification to the claim form - members must now provide bank details and attach a copy of their bank pass book for Uplift to verify that information provided is correct.
Uplift has traditionally issued claims cheques to its members which were distributed at community meetings to ensure visibility and build trust amongst other members. This was an opportunity for the member receiving the claim amount to share her story with the larger group and it helped in client retention and member enrolment.
According to Dr Nandini KS, Assistant Director Operations, Uplift, “We at Uplift are continuously reviewing our processes to improve customer service and increase operational efficiency. We are aiming to settle claims within a 15-7-3 day process where the claims with proper documentation are settled within that time period of being declared.”
She elaborates, “While reviewing the claims process, we realized that our primary goal is to ensure that members receive their claims as quickly as possible. The earlier process, though beneficial, conflicted with this primary goal. The challenge was to maintain the visibility and still deliver benefits as soon as possible. To maintain the visibility and trust even in the current process, we will make sure that the community receives data at regular intervals regarding the reimbursements received by their fellow members through the mobile app and displays in the branch offices.”
“This process improvement has been introduced at the right time. The majority of our members now have bank accounts due to the Government of India’s recent push for financial inclusion whereby banks have been directed to open accounts for the unbanked,” says Kumar Shailabh, Executive Director of Uplift. He elaborates, “Given that we do not follow the cashless model of claims, our team is working with the aim to reduce the turnaround time for claims processing to 7 days and this is just one of the first steps in that direction”.
Photo shows: An Uplift member in consultation with her doctor
About the Project
Through ICMIF’s 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy, Uplift aims to bring health mutual aid solutions to an additional half a million low-income people in Mumbai and Pune over the next five years. The project was launched in August 2016 and is supported by ICMIF members, The Co-operators (Canada), Länsförsäkringar (Sweden) and the Achmea Foundation (The Netherlands).
 Uplift plans to bring its claims turnaround time for its members from 15 days to 7 days to eventually 3 days.