Costs and Benefits of "Health Days" for Microfinance Clients: CRECER's Experience with Mobile Health Providers in Bolivia
This paper documents costs and benefits associated with delivery of health-related services developed by Crédito con Educación Rural (CRECER) as part of the Microfinance and Health Protection (MAHP) initiative from 2006 to 2009.
The paper examines the costs and benefits of health days, a component of CRECERs multi-faceted heath protection package. Health days entail MFI-facilitated visits by healthcare providers to CRECER branches or client communities. While CRECER arranges, promotes and manages health days, it does not collect any direct revenue by providing the service. CRECER spent about US$40 per client with access to health days in 2009, and the service is projected to continue costing about the same in the coming years. Evidence points to:
- Creation of new credit groups in branches that provide health days, because friends and relatives who participate or learn of health days are inspired to join CRECER;
- Enhanced client retention rates in branches offering the health protection package.
The paper finds that a comparatively higher retention rate of 4% would lead to more than US$30,000 in net profit in a single year, easily covering the costs of providing the service.