Short Summary

Artabana is a federation of small groups of people who plan and save for their healthcare by sharing a pooled emergency fund. The members share the risks of provisioning, especially funding for health care as provided by public and private services.

Website addresses:

Locations: Switzerland, Germany, Australia


"ARTABANA stands for:
  • Mutual help in case of illness
  • Therapy freedom
  • Decentralized organization
  • Increased trust through community building
  • Motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle
  • Voluntary self-government"
(source — translated)

Artabana consists of local groups that form a national network and federate transnationally. About five to ten members meet monthly, fostering camaraderie by socializing regularly with one another. Applicants are required to attend a minimum of three meetings before joining a group. Additionally, because members knowing each other personally is such an important part of Artabana's culture and functionality, groups that become too big are more likely to lose cohesion and fall apart.

Notably, Artabana supports both conventional and alternative medicine approaches.

"Responsible individuals coming together of their own free will and decision to form a community, within the framework of an organised society. The society framework allows for concerted social action on the basis of individual motivation and commitment." (source)

Artabana Australia logo. source


Although withdrawals are made through the treasurer, members can typically do so privately. Although the group is not required to OK withdrawals from the General Fund, it does approve Emergency Fund withdrawals.

Invoices from physicians, practitioners, hospitals and related providers are accessible to all members for review, ensuring responsible use of healthcare services. Financial arrangements with health care service providers are entered into both on the basis of industry fee schedules and without relation to such schedules, as permitted by applicable laws. Members are free to structure financial arrangements with healthcare practitioners or practices at their own discretion.


Members decide how much to contribute to the larger fund depending on how much they spend on medical expenses annually, but individual groups may set a minimum monthly payment. However, in Germany, there have also been group members who did not pay any contribution because they couldn't, something that would hardly be possible in a conventional public or private health care fund.

70% of member contributions go to the General Fund and 30% go into the Emergency Fund. Money from the General Fund may be spent anytime on expenses such as "medical consultations, procedures, massage, wheelchair, dental work, spectacles and so on" (source).

Individual members may make regular or one-time binding contributions by way of gifting in amounts reflecting their own priorities, the significance they attach to health and the means and resources available to them. Gifts go to the direct benefit of those in need, or are deposited into the society's solidarity fund.

Origin Story

Artabana began in Switzerland in 1987. Many of its members have been part of Anthroposophical communities. From 1999 on it expanded throughout Germany, where it now has a significant presence. The founding Artabana group in Hobart, Tasmania, began in 2016.