Villagers in Anand and Kheda in Gujarat can now avail medical benefits of up to Rs.5000 at Rs.90 or ten kilograms of food grains.
The Shri Krishna Hospital is promoting this unique initiative called the Krupa Arogya Suraksha (KAS) social security scheme.
The insurance cover will increase on higher subscription.
Under the scheme the hospital accepts food grains instead of money from people who belong to the special categories like landless labourers, farmers and other deprived section of the society, which accounts for 30 percent of the population in that district.
"We believe, a scheme such as the one we have, where you pay seven or eight kilograms of rice or wheat can be a good way to cover themselves through our scheme," said Sandeep Desai, CEO, H.M Patel Center for Medical care managed by Charotar Arogya Mandal.
The medical benefits under the Krupa Arogya Suraksha (Security) scheme may be opted at the Shri Krishna Hospital or any other hospital nominated by Shri Krishna Arogya Trust (SKAT).
Any person between the ages of three months to 75 years is eligible to opt for the scheme.
So far, at least 45,000 people have enrolled themselves under KAS scheme.
SKAT plans to expand the work in rural areas by tying up with like-minded organization for maximizing benefits of the unique scheme.
"Till now this scheme is restricted only to Anand and Kheda districts (India's western Gujarat). Our own hospital takes part in this organization. As our scheme grows, we would go to rural areas and tie up with like-minded organizations there," said Pragnesh Gor, General Manager, Extension programme for Krupa scheme.
A special mobile van run by the Shri Krishna Hospital also goes door to door to spread awareness about the health care scheme and collects food grains from the families who enroll for the treatment.
This scheme also provides maternity benefits on completion of ten months of membership without any additional charges. It also covers pre-existing condition unlike other medi-claim policies.