Credit Health Launches in Ghana
MicroEnsure Ghana is launching credit health insurance to further support microfinance clients in West Africa.
Building on experience providing similar products in Tanzania and India, the product is a simplified health product. MicroEnsure will take over a client's weekly microfinance repayments in the event that the client is hospitalised during the loan term.
Claims are quick and easy to make; all that is required is proof of admission and discharge from a recognised inpatient facility. The longer the hospital stay, the more weekly repayments will be covered, but even a stay of just one night in hospital will be covered. No health conditions are excluded, ensuring that all clients who need health cover are protected with MicroEnsure.
Key to the delivery of this new product will be MicroEnsure's operational efficiency. As Eugene Adogla, Director of Operations in Ghana, explains: "The only way a credit health product makes sense is if we have the operational capability to pay hundreds of small claims every month. The majority of our credit health claims will be very small, between $30 and $60. Because claim volume will increase significantly, we have to reduce the cost of claims processing in order to deliver this product at an affordable premium. Our new proprietary claims administration system will provide us with this capability."
Fiona Laryea, General Manager in Ghana, elaborates: "Many more of our clients will be hospitalised during a loan term than those who might experience death or property destruction, so we are happy to provide the cover they need. These hospitalisation events come during a critical time in their financial lives, and we want to give them some assistance to relieve some of the burden of healthcare costs. Eventually, we hope to extend credit health cover to the families of our clients as well, since many of our clients are the main breadwinners in their families."
The initial price for credit health cover for MicroEnsure's average microfinance client in Ghana will be approximately $0.25 per month.
Two of MicroEnsure's MFI partners in Ghana have already signed up to the new product, with more expressing interest. The team expects credit health to create much greater visibility for insurance through more frequent claims and to further distinguish MicroEnsure's partner banks in a competitive marketplace.
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