Microfinance Opportunities (MFO) undertook research in February 2011 to understand the financial value of a health microinsurance product known as the HMF (health mutual fund) offered by Uplift India Association (Uplift). The Uplift program uses community-managed mutual health protection to provide reimbursement of hospital expenses as well as discounts on in-patient care and complimentary services such as health education. MFO used a mixture of on-site interviews with key stakeholders in Pune, India and an analysis of the program's claims and financial data. The research included a case study which yields interesting insights into the experience and coping strategies of households responding to malaria, a serious but common disease among the local population. Taken together, the findings of the case study and the data analysis suggest that Uplift is providing substantial financial value to policyholders within the limits imposed by a low premium. The case study sample of Insured households had lower out-of-pocket (OOP) costs for malaria care compared to similar Uninsured households. These Uplift households also paid less for debt financing than the Uninsured if they had to borrow to cover their medical costs. Analysis of MIS data and key social performance indicators found that community participation in the health insurance spread the benefits across more members. Results are summarized in a report and a research brief produced under the project.


A Fine Balance: A Case Study of the Client Value of Health Microinsurance-Uplift I.A.

by Elizabeth McGuinness


Can Health Microinsurance Protect The Poor?

by Elizabeth McGuinness