Health Microinsurance Outcomes Assessment Baseline Pakistan
Elizabeth McGuinness and Jennifer Mandel with Holly Korda and Ayesha Tayyab, June 2010
Interest in health microinsurance has been rapidly growing as has the number of initiatives to deliver private, commercially-based health insurance to the low-income market in developing countries. The Health Microinsurance (HMI) product, a voluntary, private insurance developed for the Northern Areas (NA) of Pakistan is just one example. This product was designed and implemented by the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM) with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The primary objective of the insurance is to prevent low-income families from falling into poverty as a result of catastrophic medical costs.
This study, the HMI Outcomes Assessment, will assess whether the HMI program reduces household vulnerability to health risks and if so, how. The study is part of the broader Financial Services Assessment (FSA) project. Undertaken by the IRIS Center at the University of Maryland and its partner Microfinance Opportunities, the FSA project aims to assess the impact of grants provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to microfinance organizations for the design and development of financial services innovations in developing countries.
Lessons from the study applicable to the industry include:
- The research indicates that the feasibility of health microinsurance remains a challenge in sparsely populated areas where transportation costs are high to access health care and other services. Covering transportation costs would increase the value proposition of the insurance for policyholders who live far from major health facilities and thus would increase the demand in these areas. Doing so, however, may or may not be financially viable.
- With voluntary insurance it is imperative to get the marketing and enrollment right. Incentives must be sufficient to effectively motivate the marketers within various distribution channels. Mass media product marketing can take the burden off community-based promoters and sales forces while reaching larger audiences.
Read full review and download study from FSA website
Developing Linkages with Health Providers: A Technical Guide for MFIs
Chandler, C, Freedom for Hunger, 2010
Freedom from Hunger, a recognised expert in integrated financial and nonfinancial services for the poor, launched the Microfinance and Health Protection (MAHP) initiative in January 2006 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help create and sustain key health protection services that complement microfinance services.
In partnership with five MFIs, MAHP developed and tested integrated health protection innovations for the very poor. The idea behind integrating health protection services is to implement services that contribute to improved client health but that can be practically, realistically and sustainably offered by MFIs without dramatic changes to their business models.
Lessons learned from these innovations are now available in a series of technical guides that are designed to enable other MFIs to successfully add and integrate health education, health financing mechanisms, health provider linkages, and/or other health services. This technical guide provides information about the design and implementation of formalised linkages with public and private health providers and is based primarily on experiences of the MFIs engaged in this initiative.
Costs and benefits of health microinsurance premium loans and health provider linkages: CARD's experience in the Philippines
Reinsch, M. & Metcalfe, M., Freedom for Hunger, June 2010
Focusing on the impact of the MAHP (Microfinance and Health Protection) services on CARD (Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mutually Reinforcing Institutions), this paper explores the hypothesis that MFIs can feasibly offer health-related services that "pay for themselves" via a combination of financial revenues and non-financial benefits that indirectly improve the MFI’s financial position.
The paper evaluates the costs, direct and indirect benefits of offering two packages, a health microinsurance premium loan, linkage and education on the one hand, and a "preferred provider program" that links microfinance clients to private, primary health care at discounted rates, on the other.
Field Notes - Credit life: It's suppose to be simple!
This new publication, published by MicroEnsure, has been designed to share the experiences of the organisation as microinsurance practitioners over the past decade with the wider community; the publication does not set out to be academically robust or research orientated. These are observations based on personal experiences and often reflect lessons that have been learnt the hard way through failure.
In this first edition, the author Richard Leftley takes a look at credit life, a product that most people dismiss as offering poor value for the poor, yet it’s the starting point for many fledgling microinsurance programmes.
ICMIF Magazine PROSPER N° 8 (September 2010)
In this 8th issue, PROSPER reports on the collaboration between CIC Kenya and VimoSEWA (India) to develop a long term strategic plan and between Tajy (Paraguay) and La Segunda (Argentina) to introduce agricultural insurance in Paraguay, demonstrating what members can do when they come together. Congratulations go to La Equidad of Colombia and SSVMN in Costa Rica for reaching their respective 40 and 90 years anniversary, proving once again that the cooperative and mutual model can be sustainable and successful whilst delivering access to excluded sectors of society.
The feature section is on the recent International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) Issues paper “Regulation and Supervision of MCCOs in increasing access to insurance markets”. Members from across the globe provided their feedback on the draft and the IAIS Governance and Compliance Subcommittee has now recommended it to the IAIS Technical Committee, which will consider the paper for adoption in October 2010.
Trends of Microinsurance in India
MicroSave India Focus Note 49, Premasis Mukherjee, August 2010
Developing a strategic perspective towards microinsurance
This note provides an overview of the state of microinsurance in India and based on this, draws the following conclusions:
- Though India has experimented a lot with microinsurance, the sector is still driven by supply-led interventions.
- Moreover, the insurance providers still seek government subsidies and donor funding in order to achieve financial viability instead of designing market-led, sustainable schemes.
The recommendation proposes a strategic perspective towards microinsurance together with innovations in technology and assessment of client demand, which probably holds the key to the future of microinsurance in India.
Innovation Flash, Issue 7, published
The ILO's Microinsurance Innovation Facility just published the seventh issue of its newsletter, which includes an editorial from Peter Wrede from AKAM. He asks "Should we keep on calling insurance for the bottom of the pyramide "micronsurance"?"
The Newsletter highlights the Facility's new grantees, presents lessons concerning the distribution channels and shares publications and opportunities for the sector.
Download in English, French or Spanish
6th edition of Micro Insurance Voices available
The latest issue of Micro Insurance Voices, the newsletter of the Micro Insurance Academy (MIA), is available online. This edition includes details on the release of the MIA-produced first full-length Bollywood movie on microinsurance, a short briefing note on MIA's recent work in Tanzania, and news on MIA's work at grassroots level in South Asia.
Click here to read newsletter