Tameer Microfinance Bank launches microinsurance product in Pakistan
Pakistan Daily Times, 28 July 2011
Tameer Microfinance Bank in partnership with AsiaCare has launched 'Tameer Sehat O Sukoon', a health microinsurance product that will be offered to low-income individuals to provide them quality healthcare when they need it most. The aim is to help poor households have access to formal insurance that protects against health risks such as severe or chronic illness, accidents, and obstructed births.
Tameer Sehat O Sukoon is an in-patient product, which offers cashless access to health services with coverage worth PKR 35,000 (USD 400) against an annual premium of PKR 650 (USD 7.50). It is being rolled out across the Tameer network, which comprises more than 100 customer touch points across Pakistan. It will be available for Tameer Bank customers as well as non Tameer Bank walk-in customers.
Tameer Bank’s partner, AsiaCare Health & Life Insurance Company, was established in 2009. It provides a wide range of insurance plans and offers customised products and services. The products offered are a result of in-depth industry knowledge, market research and an understanding of customers’ health insurance needs.
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South African Treasury releases microinsurance policy document
Business Live, 28 July 2011
The microinsurance policy document entitled "The South African Microinsurance Regulatory Framework" aims to address the specific challenges of improving access to insurance and consumer protection for low-income families in South Africa. The proposed microinsurance framework is an important first step towards providing South Africans with better, more affordable insurance.
Three features of the insurance market in South Africa require policy address according to the document. These are promoting better access for South Africans to affordable insurance products that meet their daily risks; better matching of insurance products to the needs of low-income consumers; and strengthening consumer protection.
The National Treasury intends for the policy framework to extend access to a variety of good-value formal insurance products appropriate to the needs of low-income households, thereby supporting financial inclusion and facilitate formalised insurance provision by currently informal providers, and promote the formation of regulated and well capitalised insurance providers and small business development.
It also intends that the policy framework ensures lower barriers to entry to encourage broader participation in the market and promote competition amongst providers and enhance consumer protection within this market segment through appropriate prudential and business conduct regulation, improved enforcement of regulations, and consumer education interventions targeted at understanding insurance and its associated risks and benefits.
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Aviva and Basix streamline insurance product in India
Microfinance Africa, 13 July 2011
Aviva and Basix have launched Straight Through Processing (STP) that aims to automate end-to-end retail microinsurance policy enforcement process. Both companies have achieved a seamless integration of their technology systems to enable bulk processing of small ticket microinsurance policies with minimal processing cost and manual intervention.
This will address the key challenge for a microinsurance policy with an average ticket size of Rs 500, which is high cost and turnaround-time of processing. Basix has a network of over 220 remote branches and most of these are equipped with computers, internet connectivity and Basix’s CRM software. It is now possible for the policy to be enforced by Aviva within 24 hours of data entry by Basix.
Microinsurance: A macro innovation
Forbes, 12 July 2011
Harvard business professor and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) thought leader Michael Porter exhorts businesses to "reconfigure the value chain" to create shared social and economic value while reinforcing a company’s strategy.
The insurance industry isn’t known for Porter-inspired practices. But a handful of companies are changing this perception, pioneering the idea of microinsurance products that reach underserved consumers in countries like India, Senegal, Cameroon and Colombia.
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Microinsurance and its role in healthcare
The Guardian, 29 June 2011
On the sixth floor of DKV insurance in Barcelona, I watch Carlos Martínez shuffle through his schedule. An appointment is hard to get with the Director of the Department of General Services at one of the largest and most profitable health insurance companies in Europe.
Approximately 6,000 miles away in Quito, Vinicio Villalba, Director of the Intermón Oxfam mission in Ecuador is no easier to pin down for an interview. Working in the non-profit sector of one of the poorest countries in South America, his hands are full.
So what links these two very different figures and their seemingly unrelated roles and sectors? Well, an interesting project that illustrates how and why multinational private enterprises can and should deploy their expertise and knowledge in the world of development.
The story starts with an Italian priest and activist based in South Quito named Padre José Carollo. His dream of giving universal medical care to a community with scarce economic resources was realised in the form of Un Canto de Vida, a Hospital constructed two years after his death in 2007. Through Carollo's Funcadión Tierra Nueva (FTN), the hospital was able to offer health care services for the local community with the help of microinsurance.
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IFMR Trust and MEMG join government of India’s Health Microinsurance Programme
MicroCapital, 29 June 2011
IFMR Trust, an Indian non-profit organisation that promotes access to finance, and Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG), an Indian company that operates educational and healthcare institutions, have recently been accepted into the government of India’s health insurance programme targeting families below the poverty line, known as Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY).
RSBY was launched in 2008 to provide annual health insurance coverage of up to INR 30,000 (USD 650) for BPL households. In return for a yearly INR 30 (USD 0.65) registration fee paid by the BPL family, the state and federal government pay up to INR 750 (USD 16) in health insurance premiums covering up to five beneficiaries per household. Three quarters of the premium is paid by the federal government with the remaining 25 percent covered by state governments.
RSBY employs a number of features that are meant to provide quality healthcare to the neediest people, including:
- The choice of receiving care at either private or public health facilities;
- Direct government payment of premiums, which is intended to create an incentive for insurance companies to seek out BPL households;
- Reimbursement to hospitals on a per-patient basis, along with monitoring for unnecessary procedures and fraud; and
- The active involvement of microfinance institutions and nongovernmental organisations as intermediaries to reach BPL households.
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