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11.12.2013

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When health insurance becomes available to low-income countries

For its fifth edition, the World Health Summit held from 20th to 22nd October 2013 in Berlin, brought together several influential actors in the sectors of health and microfinance, under the patronage of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the french President François Hollande, José Manuel Barroso President of the European Commission, and Jacques Attali President of Planet Finance Group.

In this context various topics have been discussed, such as the Millennium Goals for the Development, the health coverage or the e-health systems. Various conferences and many projects have also been proposed to health professionals during the event in order to inform and debate on the current challenges lifted up by global health.

In addition, one of the most relevant solutions proposed to overcome the difficulties regarding the access to health insurance in the poorest countries, reside in the concept of "micro-insurance". This health insurance offers the adaptation of general insurance services to low-income clients who cannot access traditional insurance services.

Moreover, it is important to point out the fact that micro-insurance is complementary to traditional financial services (micro-credit) offered by Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to micro-entrepreneurs. Indeed, in most cases when there is a serious situation (accident, illness, death) families do not have the resources to deal with it and can be contrained to over-indebtedness or worse.

Regarding the progress of projects related to this solution, a study conducted in 2012 by the Finance Work for Africa and the Munich Re Foundation helped to collect data on 511 micro-insurance providers in 39 countries. More than 598 products have been identified, covering a total of 44.4 million people and goods at the end of 2011. We learn that South Africa account for more than 60 % of this coverage (with 27.2 million people and goods). Nine countries have coverage of more than one million people and goods each. They alone account for over 90% coverage in Africa.

However, even if the activities identified regarding micro-insurance in Africa testify to the amazing growth of life insurance coverage, as well as innovation in terms of agricultural micro-insurance in some areas, this study also highlight a critical stagnation regarding micro health insurance on the whole continent. Thus we notice a small sector development in Central and North Africa, not to forget that 650 million Africans live in countries where the sector of micro-insurance is just absent.

Fortunately many entities such as Planet Guarantee, Swiss Re or Allianz Africa seek to support, promote and improve the current situation. For example, we know that Planet Guarantee organization develops products and solutions specifically targeted for the informal sector populations excluded from traditional insurance offerings. This entity hopes to develop a specific micro-insurance offer and a range of services and advices, such as support and advice for risk analysis and the development of guarantees, asset management third party or the custom in the creation and development of products and solutions for micro-insurance support.

For more information, please feel free to visit Planet Guarantee and its various partners by using the following link: http://www.planetguarantee.com/

Sources : Bulletins-electroniques.com | La Microfinance.org (1) | La Microfinance.org (2) | La Microfinance.org (3) | Planet Guarantee | World Health Summit

Tags : Microfinance, Micro-credit, Micro-insurance, Planet Finance, Planet Guarantee, Microworld, Africa, World Health Summit