HYDERABAD: With all prices soaring by the day, getting treated for diseases has also become burdening. Most of us tend to find temporary relief with self-prescribed or most used antibiotics.
Stressing on the importance of long term cure, Arogya Finance, a healthcare venture, is providing medical assistance to those who need it.
“Less than 15 per cent of the population is covered by health insurance in India. Of the remaining only a minority is able to pay out of their own pocket. The remaining sell their personal assets, borrow at criminally high rates of interest or simply go without care. The problem is so bad that each year 40 million people fall into poverty due to unexpected healthcare expenses. We wanted to do something about this problem,” shares Dheeraj Batra, co-founder and Vice-President.
Jose Peter is the other co-founder.
Explaining further he says, “We aim at helping the needy to be able to borrow money to pay for medical expenses. It can be anyone who has a monthly family income of `7,500 or more.”
The start-up which provides its services in 10 states in the country was launched in January 2011 and has been catering to the denizens of Hyderabad for the last three months. They cover a wide range of ailments from malaria to cardiac surgery to orthopaedic procedures.
“To make sure that loan is used only for medical needs, the money is disbursed directly to the caregiver (i.e. hospitals, nursing homes),” informs Dheeraj.
They recently launched a health care card which has a pre-approved medical loan of upto `2 lakh. It can be used by the cardholders and their family members. They have also made repayment option easy for the consumers.
To sign up with the company, the borrower would have to pay `1000 and renew it with `250 from following year.
“Every month the loan amount is increased by one per cent and the EMI is also divided according to the borrower’s eligibility and on the amount and duration of the loan taken,” he explains.
The company is also partnering with various NGOs and hospitals to be able to help as many people as possible.
As the concept of health card is something new, how difficult was it to convince people to sign up with them? Dheeraj says, “It is not too difficult. This is a need which many people have and want to fill. And the rigorous awareness we are giving is attracting many people.”