Designing an Affordable Health Care Program for Hispanic Immigrants in New York City

Supporting Grameen America in offering innovative health care services to its members

Dates of Project: December 2012 through November 2013

Grameen Research partnered with its sister organization Grameen America, a nonprofit microlender, and Iora Health, a Cambridge, Mass.-based primary health care provider, to launch a member-financed affordable health care program for low-income Hispanic immigrant women entrepreneurs in New York City.

Description: The project team conducted surveys and focus groups to assess health needs, access to care, and current health expenses of the women in order to design the program, which builds on Grameen America member groups connecting through weekly meetings.

The major finding was that the majority of the potential participants were ineligible for Medicaid or other private health insurance due to their immigration status, and therefore unable to effectively access the resources of hospitals and other health care institutions in the area. This finding speaks broadly to the situation of immigrants in Queens, New York City and is consistent with public statistics for this population.

Key Results

  • The project team worked with Iora Health to design a $45 per month benefit program, Grameen Vida Sana, which combines primary care, weekly group wellness meetings, and access to health records, and educational resources through the mobile-connected platform of ClickMedix. The program is expected to cover its expenses once membership reaches 4,300.

  • The team established and staffed a new nonprofit, Grameen PrimaCare, to support the development of Grameen Vida Sana, and secured a facility in Jackson Heights, Queens, for a primary care clinic/wellness center to be run by Iora Health.

The report contains a story of Irene, a Mexican-American Grameen America member who is joining Grameen Vida Sana.

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Grameen Research designed $45/mo. health benefit program for members in NYC & started a primary care clinic