Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 369-375

Swavlamban Health Insurance scheme for persons with disabilities: An experiential account

1 Department of Psychiatric Social Work, Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Seva-in-Action, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Thanapal Sivakumar
Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Hosur Road, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_77_19

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Context: Out-of-pocket expenditure on health in India is high. Many people including persons with disability (PwD) face catastrophic health expenditure. Health insurance is a promising strategy to overcome this burden. Swavlamban was the first health insurance for PwD which also covered mental illness. We conducted regular camps at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) for enrollment in the scheme. In this study, we present the features of the scheme and the sociodemographic profile of beneficiaries enrolled. Aims: To describe the experience of conducting enrollment camps for the Swavlamban Health Insurance scheme at NIMHANS and the sociodemographic profile of beneficiaries enrolled. Settings and Design: The study comprised all PwD and their family members enrolled in the Swavlamban through the camps conducted at NIMHANS from May 2016 to April 2017. Results: A total of 1248 persons were enrolled, of which 643 were PwD. The beneficiaries (PwD) were predominantly male (69%), with a mean age of 31 years, from Bengaluru (84%), and majority had disability due to mental retardation (43%). Although camps were conducted in mental hospital and publicized among mental health professionals, only 135 persons disabled with mental illness (21% of PwD beneficiaries) were enrolled. Conclusions: Mental health professionals need to take the lead in coordinating with various stakeholders so that the PwD can avail health insurance and other welfare benefits. There is a need to lobby and advocate for making these schemes easily accessible.



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