Sigma No. 4/2016 - Mutual insurance in the 21st century: back to the future?

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 This Sigma reviews recent developments in the mutual insurance sector. Given their heterogenous nature, the analysis compares developments among different groups of mutual institutions to gain insight into the anatomy of the sector and how that has changed over the recent past. The study then discusses current challenges and opportunities for mutual insurers.

Microcare, Uganda: Financing health through communities, in Innovation for sustainable development : Local case studies from Africa

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This volume aims to highlight many exciting innovations for sustainable development in Africa at the local level. It also begins to assess the scope for scaling up these innovations to make an impact on a larger scale. This particular case study focuses on an organisation called Microcare which was created out of a Community Health Financing Micro-Insurance initiative in Uganda.

India: An inventory of micro insurance schemes

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As poverty and social exclusion remain major problems in the world, even as we are in the third millennium, the quest for solutions continues. The ILO’s Stategies and Tools against Social Exclusion and Poverty Programme (STEP) explores innovative methods that contribute to these solutions. One of them is micro insurance. There are only a scarce amount of documented micro insurance initiatives and concerning India, this is a first attempt to identify the various micro insurance schemes that are established.

Willingness to pay for health insurance among rural and poor persons: Field evidence from seven microhealth insurance units in India

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This study, conducted in India in 2005, provides evidence on Willingness to pay (WTP), gathered through a unidirectional (descending) bidding game among 3024 households (HH) in seven locations where micro health insurance units are in operation. Insured persons reported slightly higher WTP values than uninsured. About two-thirds of the sample agreed to pay at least 1%, about half the sample was willing to pay at least 1.35%, 30% was willing to pay about 2.0% of annual HH income as health insurance premium.

Micro health insurance in India: Pointers for progress

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One cannot exclude the possibility that insurers and others, insufficiently aware of clients' priorities, seem to misinterpret low demand as reflecting low willingness to pay, ignoring the unattractive value proposition of the main product and the devastating impact on the demand side of cherry picking. One can wonder if those who are interested in making insurance work for the poor in India might be stuck in a vicious cycle, which looks like this: poor products - low demand - low willingness to pay - lowering of premiums - further worsening of insurance product or service.

Demystifying micro health insurance package design - Choosing healthplans all together (Chat)

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This article examines the utilization of a simulation exercise known as Choosing All Health Insurance (CHAT). As a decision tool, this exercise allows variably educated resource-poor populations who are inexperienced with health insurance to select health benefits that they perceive to be relevant. CHAT was adapted to developmental context of India through the project "Strengthening Micro Health Insurance Units for the Poor" (2005-2006).

Micro health insurance: The quest for a balance between different interests of healthcare providers, clients and insurers

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The three partners in the equation of health insurance are the clients, the providers of care and the insurers. Each of the stakeholders aims at different objectives: providers of healthcare seek to deliver health services, and each provider focuses on those services that it has capacity to deliver. The objective of insurers is to ensure that expenditure levels will not exceed the income. And the objective of clients is to obtain affordable and good quality services that are relevant in their context, through a process that they consider as fair.

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