Better access to health insurance
In a nutshell
|Sustainable Development Goal||Decent Work and Economic Growth|
In most countries, low-income families have very limited access to health financing from their government or employer because most are informally employed. Women, in particular, have difficulty getting healthcare due to gender-based inequalities in education, income and employment – despite facing additional health risks from pregnancy and childbirth. Health emergencies create huge financial and emotional pressures.
Even the rare low-income family that has health insurance must pay most health-related expenses out of pocket. Many families therefore delay treatment and, during health emergencies, are forced to deplete their savings, pledge their assets, borrow from friends and relatives or rely on informal moneylenders for emergency cash. The resulting gap in their asset base is especially difficult to replenish due to the lasting impacts of a health crisis or condition, such as missed workdays and reduced earning capacity. All this makes families more vulnerable to income shocks and at risk of falling deeper into poverty.
Women's World Banking launched its flagship hospital cash microinsurance product, Caregiver, in 2009 in cooperation with Microfund for Women in Jordan and has since partnered with financial service providers in Egypt, Morocco, and Uganda. The vision is to make affordable, demand-oriented insurance schemes sustainable and available to the uninsured and underinsured, especially women, in at least 10 developing markets.
Caregiver has already reached more than 2 million beneficiaries. However, two challenges have so far stood in the way of replicating the model in other markets: an insufficient and unreliable funding stream and the lack of partnering financial service providers with the capacity to build an IT module dedicated to insurance operations and future scale-up.
Funding from the Swiss Re Foundation will enable Women's World Banking to kick-start the replication of Caregiver in two more countries and to optimise the model, in particular its IT module, for further replication and scale-up.
Goals and Expected Impact
- Higher insurance coverage and use among uninsured and underinsured people in the two additional countries (target: 300 000 new customers, of which 5-8% with claims)
- Positive outcomes for low-income women relative to baseline with respect to financial/material behaviour (such as earlier loan repayment and increased loan renewal), cognitive mastery (such as insurance literacy), emotional well-being (enhanced perception of themselves) and relational behaviour (more decision-making power in the household)
- Creation of the best organizational construct possible to allow for scaling Caregiver in several countries in parallel (approach, IT, legal form, proof points and factual evidence)