MILK Discussion Note #2: Are Existing Health Financing Mechanisms Sufficient for Poor Women in Guatemala?

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The MILK Project has reviewed some of the data from the Microinsurance Innovation Facility's market study of BanRural clients in Guatemala in order to develop a better understanding of the health financing alternatives available to poor women in Guatemala and develop a hypothesis of the value that microinsurance might have for poor women. This hypothesis will be tested once Aseguradora Rural launches a new product aimed at covering women’s health needs and marketed to savings clients of BanRural in the last quarter of 2011.

MILK Brief #12 - Doing the Math in Karnataka, India

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This study investigates the financial value of a health microinsurance product offered to clients of the microfinance institution Grameen Koota in India. Families that recently suffered one of several similar illnesses resulting in hospitalisation were interviewed, and the study found that insured respondents had substantially lower direct hospital expenditures than uninsured patients. However, the relative benefit of the insurance becomes less apparent when other associated costs are taken into account, including indirect expenses and in particular, opportunity costs.

MILK Brief #11 - Doing the Math - Health Microinsurance in Maharashtra, India

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The MILK project partnered with the global insurance intermediary MicroEnsure to study the extent to which a health microinsurance product covering inpatient care offered value to clients in terms of reduced spending and improved access. There is strong evidence that insurance can reduce the out-of-pocket spending for families when large health crises hit, though the extent of this protection depends on the specific product features, exactly how benefits are delivered, and the socio-economic characteristics of the target community.

Is it all about the money? A randomized evaluation of the impact of insurance literacy and marketing treatments on the demand for health microinsurance in Senegal

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In Senegal mutual health organisations (MHOs) have been present in the greater region of Thiès for years. Despite their benefits, in some areas there remain low take-up rates. For this study, an insurance literacy module was used to communicate the benefits of health microinsurance and the functioning of MHOs to a randomly selected sample of households in the city of Thiès. The effects of this training, and three cross-cutting marketing treatments, are evaluated using a randomised control trial.

Impact of education on informal workers willingness to pay and knowledge of health insurance

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A literature review identified a number of barriers that restrict potential clients from joining health insurance schemes in developing countries. Among those, the “literacy gap” i.e. the lack of knowledge about insurance was found to be an important one. In Bangladesh, studies on knowledge about health insurance are not readily found.

Health Worker Preferences for Community-based Health Insurance Payments Mechanisms: A Discrete Choice Experiment

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This study is about the development of community-based health insurance (CBI) schemes in Burkina Faso. In early 2004, the insurance (CBI) scheme, Assurance Maladie à Base Communautiare (AMBC), was introduced in Nouna district, Burkina Faso. Under CBI schemes, members of a community, often defined by geographical proximity or through employment based relationships, pool resources in order to provide support for covering health expenditures.

Health mutuals' impact on behaviours for demand of health insurance in Cameroun

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This study examines the impact of micro health insurance on the demand for health care based on a representative survey of 317 households in the Health District in Mbalmayo central region in Cameroon. Authors show that evaluated schemes are plagued by adverse selection, which questions the impact of the membership in health mutuals on health care utilization.

Health insurance participation: Experimental evidence from Kenya

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This paper describes the main findings of a field experiment offering health insurance in Kenya. It offers a discussion of the participation in a composite health insurance product offered to tea farmers living in the district of Nyeri, Kenya, and belonging to the Wananchi Savings and Credit Cooperative Society. This paper documents several aspects of the study. First, it provides details of the population under study, with implications for the generalisations of experimental results from this to other contexts.

Health Emergencies: How do the Poor Pay?

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How do the poor in India deal with medical emergencies? MicroSave’s India Focus Note 93 describes how low-income families in India deal with medical emergencies in the absence of quality public health care facilities. It advocates health insurance as an affordable alternative for low-income families. Poor people in India cope with medical emergencies by using savings, loans from various sources, and by pawning or selling assets. The expenditure to meet a major health shock often pushes low-income families into distress.

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