In this video interview, taken at the DHAN Foundation’s offices in Madurai, Tamil Nadu (India), Mr M P Vasimali (Executive Director, the DHAN Foundation) discusses the DHAN Foundation’s project with ICMIF under the 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy. He also explains why the concept of mutuality is central to the work of the DHAN Foundation.
Mr Vasimali begins: “I’m really happy to share our positive experience of the collaboration between the DHAN Foundation and ICMIF.”
He continues “DHAN stands for “Development of Humane Action”. The Humaneness comes from addressing mutuality and solidarity.
“DHAN initiated our work with social capital. Where you bring unorganised people together thought mutuality, for their own livelihoods and also through savings.
“Why is DHAN involved in ICMIF’s collaborative programme (the 5-5-5)? I think this mutuality programme provides a unique niche for poor communities to address their vulnerabilities and risks. Either their livelihood risks, their life risks and also their crop risks.
“So mutuality impacts poor peoples’ lives by providing resilience to address these kinds of risks.
Mr Vasimali concludes: “Currently we are able to reach out to nearly 300,000 families with life, health and now we are going to work on livestock.”
Mr Vasimali has worked in development for over three decades and was instrumental to forming the DHAN Foundation in 1997.
Brian Merkel, an employee of ICMIF member company Thrivent Financial (USA), visited Manchester (UK) in October 2018 to participate in a Technical Assistance assignment for the 5-5-5.
As an experienced Business Process Engineer, Brian’s task was to streamline and improve the existing processes of the 5-5-5 project.
Over the course of two weeks, Brian enjoyed the challenge of applying his existing skills to new markets and connecting with many different people both at the ICMIF head office and also with people working on the 5-5-5 projects out in the field. Brian’s work will also lead to greater efficiency going forwards in ICMIF’s mission to reach 5 million low-income households with microinsurance through the 5-5-5.
Ms Palaneeswari, SUHAM Hospital coordinator for the DHAN Foundation (India), explains how policyholders are able to avoid paying for expensive medical treatments which they can’t afford when they are admitted to hospital: “When a patient gets admitted to hospital for treatment, the treatment is approved by the federation. This helps to provide affordable treatment for all the enrolled poor members.”
Ms Palaneeswari also discuss some of the reasons why the DHAN Foundation’s health microinsurance policy is different to other insurance providers in the video: “The other insurance products in the market have a lot of exclusions during the initial years. We have very minimal exclusions.”
SUHAM Hospital, where Ms Palaneeswari works, runs entirely on the efforts of village-level self-help groups (SHGs) formed by underprivileged village women in India. A survey undertaken in early 2007 by the SHGs revealed that poor families spent 40% of their income on medical treatments.
The DHAN Foundation’s health microinsurance product is distributed via a network of SHGs, which cluster together to form federations. Policyholders can receive treatment at an affordable cost at the SUHAM Hospital, which works directly with the federations to reclaim the cost of the policyholders’ treatment directly.
She is visited by Mrs Pillai, a prominent women's group leader in Tamil Nadu.
Mr Iyappan comments: "In the first year we started our health insurance programme with our own Kalanjam (self-help group) members with the support of People Mutuals (the insurance arm of the DHAN Foundation)."He also added: "Lots of poor Kalanjam members have been able to benefit from this programme... The claims delay has been reduced from 15 months to 1 or 2 months, which is our greatest achievement."
The ICMIF 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy is aiming to scale up the DHAN Foundation's operations to reach over 1 million low-income people with microinsurance over the next five years.
One woman describes how she was able to gain access to the healthcare services she desperately needed.
Sin embargo, gracias al proyecto de la Fundación DHAN, apoyado por la Estrategia 5-5-5 de Microseguros Mutuales de la ICMIF, la familia de Palaniyammal tiene ahora microseguros de salud asequibles que han cambiado sus vidas y, recientemente, salvado la de su cuñada.A través de su asociación con la ICMIF, la Fundación DHAN pretende cubrir con microseguros mutuales a un millón adicional de personas durante un período de cinco años, para que muchas más personas, como Palaniyammal y su familia, puedan beneficiarse de microseguros de salud asequibles.
A través de la Estrategia 5-5-5 de Microseguros Mutuales de la ICMIF, la Fundación DHAN tiene como objetivo proporcionar seguro de salud asequible a más de 1 millón de personas que viven en comunidades pobres de la India, durante los próximos cinco años.
Una mujer describe cómo consiguió obtener acceso a los servicios de salud que necesitaba urgentemente gracias a su póliza de microseguros con la Fundación DHAN.