SAJIDA’s Nirapotta program provides insurance services for the poor who are vulnerable to frequent personal crises that include illness, death of family members, education for children, natural disasters and others. Bangladesh has the highest incidences of unwarranted health costs in Asia that end up absorbing 10-40% of total household resources for poor families, eventually pushing around 6 million individuals into extreme poverty. The Nirapotta program thereby provides comprehensive and inclusive services specifically designed for the poor to provide social protection and security to its microcredit program members and their families. The insurance is designed to provide members financial protection during basic lifecycle needs. Employees of SAJIDA’s microenterprise borrowers are also eligible for this microinsurance program.
Nirapotta benefits include coverage for:
Health claims under the Nirapotta program includes partial coverage of surgeries, hospitalization expenses, costs associated with the fracturing of bones, accidents, child delivery including ante and post natal care amongst many others. Beneficiaries are privy to free cataract surgeries and natural deliveries at SAJIDA Hospitals.
Death Claims are covered by Life Nirapotta which supports members’ families following their unexpected/ unnatural deaths. Outstanding loans from SAJIDA up to BDT 49,000 for the members are waived and members’ families are eligible to receive an instant sum of BDT 5,000 in cash.
Education claims cover up to BDT 500 a month for meritorious children from Classes 6 to 12. These claims also cover expenses related to higher education for stipend-holders.
In terms of man –made disasters including fires that damage homes and work places of members, payments up to BDT 10,000 are made under these stipends.
Kormo Nirapotta Claims
This particular payment plan is designed with internationally renowned actuarial and consultancy firm Milliman and provides fixed cash payments for death and illnesses for SAJIDA’s microenterprise borrowers. In cases of employees taking time off from work due to illness, this plan would 50% of their wages for up to 2 weeks.
Legal Service Claims
While this claim provides no financial compensation, it provides for legal consultations for members seeking advice of this nature.
Cattle and Crop Nirapotta
This year has seen the introduction of providing microinsurance services to farmers as they are vulnerable to seasonal and environmental disasters. Such eventualities bring about potential financial ruin for aspiring or under privileged entrepreneurs who can often fall into deeper debts without insurance programs supporting them.
SAJIDA’s Nirapotta program is unique in providing coverage for both preventive and curative healthcare for the poor, which settles in with the Government of Bangladesh’s mandate to ensure Universal Health Coverage by 2032 in keeping with the SDGs. Strategies include halving out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditures of 64%, ensuring that the current 15% of households faced with financial ruin from healthcare costs are brought down to 0 and to increase prepayment funds that include discount/ insurance cards to 68%. The Nirapotta goes forth with the mandate of providing quality healthcare services at low costs and looks to form partnerships against exploitative healthcare systems.
Universal Health Coverage
SAJIDA seeks to establish Nirapotta as a model program for Universal Health Care (UHC) in Bangladesh. We plan to enhance and expand the existing Nirapotta program through innovative product development, digitization, improved claim processing and through partnership with the Government, insurance companies, hospitals and other similar organizations. An initiative is also being undertaken to introduce pre-payment discount card, a major feature of UHC, in our Hospitals.
Cattles, especially cows, are prime assets that many of our borrowers rely on completely for their livelihood. We plan to introduce Cattle Nirapotta program as a pilot project to safeguard their beef-fattening as well as dairy cows against adversities like death or disability.
Students Involvement – BASIC (Be Aware of Socially Intricate Community)
We want our students to develop a complete awareness of their role in the society as they grow. While they excel academically, which merely serves self-gratification, they also need to be sensitive of privileged opportunity, inequality, marginalization, complex social fabric, nature, stereotyping etc. that very much exist in our community. Our students who receive Nirapottta stipends will be involved in various social campaigns, coaching promising students, awareness programs etc.
Redesigning Education Schemes
The future of the Nirapotta program lies in increased coverage through partnerships for education stipends for students unable to rise beyond their circumstances due to a lack of resources.