Digital health platform for increased financial inclusion in India : Insights and findings

As of 2022, almost 63% of the Indian population was not covered under any form of health insurance leaving them vulnerable to various health emergencies. This segment solely relied on out-of-pocket expenses for health services which raises the risk of them being pushed into poverty. In 2018-19, the out-of-pocket expenditure by an individual was at around 48% despite an increase in Govt.’s contribution.

Some of the reasons for this huge health protection gap are – poor state of the healthcare systems and lack of awareness and knowledge about health insurance plans. Government of India’s public policy think tank – Niti Aayog, in a published policy document, has highlighted lack of awareness and understanding of complex products such as health insurance as one of the key challenges for low health insurance coverage, especially amongst the missing middle segment of the society. Consumer education and awareness campaigns can prove effective in improving the acceptance and uptake of health insurance. Additionally, digital sales channels can bring down costs, such as commissions, incurred by insurance providers, hence making health insurance more affordable for end-clients.

Last year, SCBF with co-funding from Swiss Re Foundation supported a project by Saathealth – a digital health platform to help address some of the key challenges that India has been facing in building financial resilience related to health, particularly for the “missing middle”. The Saathealth family health intervention reaches low-income customers with preventive health content in local languages using visual and interactive formats. SCBF intervention is helping them to update the content to include financial literacy. By encouraging users to interact with health content, Saathealth steers low-income families towards health savings by helping them find the right financial solutions linked to financial service providers.

On 4 May 2023, SCBF, in collaboration with Saathealth organised a webinar on “Digital health platform for increased financial inclusion in India: Insights and findings”. Some of the key areas of discussion were:

  • Key challenges Saathealth is trying to address in the Indian market.
  • Demand side aspects – how are they addressing the lack of awareness about available health financing options and insurance as a concept in general and how are they aggregating demand and connecting consumers with the relevant providers.
  • Supply side aspects – how are they addressing lack of relevant and affordable solutions in the market through provision of insights that could inform new product development (e.g., how, and what data is collected for harnessing behavioural insights from users, what are the common insights across genders and geographies, outcomes of the financial literacy survey etc.)


  • Dr. Aakash Ganju, Co-founder & CEO, Saathealth
  • Ms. Aditi Hazra-Ganju, Co-Founder & COO, Saathealth


  • Ms. Dana Ellis, Senior Operations Manager, SCBF

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