Helping improve the lives of the most excluded communities

Inter Aide MHO program in India: Improving access to health care for vulnerable families in slums

Rukimi is a widow and works as a housekeeper to support herself and three of her children in school.

A mutual health insurance subscriber since 2008, she has been able to benefit from the advice of a health facilitator and from a refund for 10 days in hospital. She says she is thrilled to belong to the mutual scheme, because she has been well cared for without having to beg to cover all her health care costs.

Location of Project India, Mumbai and Pune
Name of Association www.interaide.orgInter Aide
  10th anniversary – October 2013 (video)
Project Partners
(financial and operational)
  • Corporate foundations, family, private donations and local revenue from the activity
  • NGOs and local partners in India: Antyodaya, NSVK, Parvati, Prem Seva, SAI and Uplift.
  • ATIA (Inter Aide association specializing in urban programs)

Program description

Inter Aide and ATIA*, with the support of the Sanofi Espoir Foundation, work with six local partners (Antyodaya, NSVK, Parvati, Prem Seva, SAI and Uplift) that provide mutual health insurance services to their members, who are micro-entrepreneurs generally excluded from any health coverage system. Inter Aide and ATIA support them in developing high-quality and sustainable services.

On payment of a fee that matches their capacity to contribute (€0.35 to 0.80 per month), the microfinance borrowers and their families are covered for the duration of the loan. They can voluntarily renew their membership when the loan ends. MHOs cover hospitalization, within specific limits. In addition, they give access to a wide network of more than 300 contracted care providers with whom they negotiating tariff reductions. These services aim to reduce financial barriers to access to care and lower the risk of falling into poverty (again) in the event of illness or of foregoing care.

In addition, MHOs provide many social health services. These include referral services such as a permanent helpline and weekly medical hotlines that direct recipients to the most appropriate care providers and at reasonable prices. They also provide preventive health services such as sensitization or training sessions, free health assessments and prevention campaigns. These services aim to reduce the psychosocial barrier, promote access to care and prevent the occurrence of preventable diseases.

In December 2013, all MHOs covering 54,230 recipients or 14,058 families. In 2013, MHOs supported 603 hospitalizations and counted 28,591 participations in other services.

More information and members’ testimonials on the Inter Aide Practices website:

* ATIA is an Inter Aide association specializing in urban programs