Micro-Healthcare · Microinsurance

Healthcare insurance for the extreme poor

An article in the Sunday Times of India called Healthcare for a billion by Kiran Mazumdar Shaw reports that rural indebtness caused by illness is far greater than that caused by crop failure. The problem with this kind of indebtness for the poor is that often they have to go to moneylenders charging often 10% interest per day(!) to pay these bills resulting in long-term (or possibly lifetime) indebtedness and resulting extreme poverty.

She highlights a couple of success stories both governmental and private sector driven. The government in the south India state of Karnataka (capital is Bangalore) has a program called Yashaswini Health Insurance under which various co-ops receive insurance coverage for a range of surgical procedures for 60 rupees (about $1.50) per year. A private initiative, doctor Arogya Raksha Yojana is a more comprehensive insurance program covering surgeries, buy hospitalization, order medical consultations and medicines for just 120 rupees (about $3.00) per year.

She ends with a quote from Winston Churchill: “Insurance brings the miracles of mathematical probability to the rescue of the masses.”

If this statistic is accurate, then health insurance needs to be a top priority for the growing microfinance sector.

4 thoughts on “Healthcare insurance for the extreme poor

  1. You end on a very important question: why haven’t more micro-banks gotten into micro-insurance? On Nov. 16 we at http://www.microcapital.org have two posts on this question (link below), providing insight on the challanges micro-banks face in providing insurance – from health insurance to crop insurance. Thank you for your important work. Cordially yours, David Satterthwaite. http://www.microcapital.org/cblog/index.php?/archives/98-Microinsurance-Provides-Healthcare-in-India.html

    Like

  2. I am curious, what would be necessary to allow individuals to have access to a form of insurance that could help them in the event of a disabling disease or debilitating injury? How successful have programs been that attempt to provide this type of insurance? Can they even persuade individuals of the necessity of this insurance, or are they resistant to investing in this type of service? Lots of questions I realize but I have never thought of this problem before and am interested in hearing how individuals can help.

    Like

  3. I am curious, what would be necessary to allow individuals to have access to a form of insurance that could help them in the event of a disabling disease or debilitating injury? How successful have programs been that attempt to provide this type of insurance? Can they even persuade individuals of the necessity of this insurance, or are they resistant to investing in this type of service? Lots of questions I realize but I have never thought of this problem before and am interested in hearing how individuals can help.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s