This Health Finance and Governance Newsletter originally appeared on the HFG bulletin HERE.
There has been rapid and growing uptake of mobile microinsurance products across all sectors, broadly defined as a microinsurance products that leverage mobile channels. CGAP has identified 84+ examples of mobile microinsurance which are creating innovative insurance products and business models driven by insurers, mobile network operators (MNOs), and other groups (such as banks, governments and third party players). MNOs seeking to build customer loyalty in highly competitive environments are increasingly paying a role in driving development of mobile microinsurance products.
Health microinsurance schemes seek to provide financial protection and improved access to health care for the poor. Many of these schemes are using mobile phones to reduce the costs of microinsurance and address challenges associated with scale-up. Mobile phones can be used to help with client enrollment, facilitate payment of claims and through mobile money platforms, offer a convenient mechanism for collecting and managing premiums from populations in remote and hard to reach areas.
Examples of health microinsurance schemes using mobile money include:
- Y’ello: Nigeria’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is partnering with mobile network provider MTN and with a mobile insurance services aggregator (Salt & Einstein MTS) to launch a new mobile health micro-insurance aimed at covering poor and disadvantaged populations, as part of national efforts to achieve universal health coverage (UHC).
- Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU) health plan: The KNCU health plan was created in collaboration with PharmAccess, KNCU, and Mission for Essential Medical Supplies (MEMS) and serves individuals in the Kilamanjaro region of northern Tanzania. Mobile phones are used to register members and collect premiums.
- Pona na Tigo Bima: In Ghana, MicroEnsure and its partners, Tigo, Bima and Golden Crescent, created a health insurance product, “Pona na Tigo Bima” (Get Well with Tigo Insurance), which offers life insurance and cash for inpatient hospital care at a defined network of private and public hospitals. Mobile money is used for claims management and payment.
- Linda Jamii: MicroInsurance scheme developed as a partnership between Britam, Safaricom, and Population Services International to provide Kenyans with an affordable health insurance option. It provides comprehensive coverage for inpatient and outpatient services, as well as some dental and optical services. Linda Jamii members use mobile phones to register for the scheme and to make incremental payments towards the minimum threshold amount required to access services.
- l’Union Technique de la Mutualité Malienne: Health insurance mutuelles in Mali use Orange Cash to collect and manage premium payments. They are also working with Orange Mali to promote the mutuelles via Orange communication channels to other network subscribers.
Additional resources on mobile money + micro insurance:
- Branchless Banking and Microinsurance: A Perfect Marriage? (CGAP)
- Mobile Phone and Microinsurance (ILO)
- Leveraging Mobile Money for Health Insurance (IDEO)
- Technology Roll-Out, Mobile Savings and Credit, Investing in Microinsurance (CFI)
- Designing Mobile Microinsurance Products: Premium Payment Methods (CGAP)
- Human-Centered Design and Microinsurance (CGAP)
- Summary Report: Knowledge Sharing Forum on Technology in Microinsurance (ILO, CGAP, MicroEnsure)
Tools and Resources for Health Programs Transitioning to Mobile Money
Is your health program transitioning to mobile money? Below are key tools and resources you should be aware of:
Integrating Mobiles into Development Projects *NEW* Practical guidance for program managers seeking to incorporate mobile phone applications into projects.
“How To” Toolkit to Guide the Journey from Cash to e-Payments for USAID implementing partners and development organizations.
Digitizing Payments Process Kit. A work plan, framework and practical tools to help USAID implementing partners transition away from cash to digital payments for beneficiaries.
Electronic Payments Metrics Dashboard. Provides a sample workbook to track implementation of electronic payments, cost and efficiencies. Can be used to assist programs in identifying key performance indicators to monitor the impact of electronic payments over time.
IFC Mobile Money Toolkit. Compilation of tools and resources with emphasis on delivery channels for mobile money.
The Health Finance and Governance (HFG) Project’s Mobile Money to Strengthen Health Systems Activity is driving innovative mobile phone-based payment solutions, to expand the reach of health services to poor populations and to improve the efficiency, security, and transparency of financial transactions in the health sector. Designed for public health professionals, this newsletter is intended to highlight how mobile payment services (using mobile phones to transfer or store funds) can improve healthcare delivery.
Please contact us to share your news about mobile money applications in health or if you would like to contribute to this newsletter. For more information about the HFG Mobile Money Activity and how it is supporting the uptake of innovative payment solutions in countries, contact Abeba Taddese (firstname.lastname@example.org).