Micro Health Insurance: Chronicle of a Death Foretold?

Monday, June 10, 2013

On May 23, a group of researchers affiliated with the Health Working Group of the Microinsurance Network were hosted by CGAP to share the results of their recent work on various facets of micro health insurance. The in-person and virtual audience engaged the presenters in a lively debate about a number of critical issues in the field, including why uptake of health insurance remains low, the relative importance of covering inpatient and outpatient care, the role of subsidies, the commercial sustainability of micro health insurance, the central importance of the quality of care made accessible through insurance, and the respective roles of the public and private sectors in providing insurance coverage to low-income families.

That last point, in particular, was discussed at length based on an example from India. It appears that the large, publicly-funded RSBY scheme is crowding out Indian microinsurance providers when offered in the same markets.This observation led to the most fascinating question of the event (thank you, as always, Peter Wrede!): is there a future for micro health insurance? Is it destined to go by the wayside as governments take on an increasingly larger share of the burden of providing coverage to their populations? Should it?

Source: CGAP (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
public health