Case study

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

Assessing the benefits of a health microinsurance initiative in Pune, India

This study attempts to understand the financial value of a health microinsurance product known as the health mutual fund (HMF) offered by Uplift India Association (Uplift). The study was conducted by Microfinance Opportunities in February 2011. It 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 that yields insights into the experience and coping strategies of households responding to malaria. Study findings suggest that Uplift is providing substantial financial value to policyholders within certain constraints. Findings include:

  • Insured households had lower out-of-pocket costs for malaria care compared to uninsured households;
  • Uplift households paid less for debt financing than uninsured households if they had to borrow to cover their medical costs;
  • HMF program is providing financial protection to Insured families through claims reimbursements and access to lower cost medical care;
  • Uplift’s business model is a client-managed, mutual insurance model.

The study recommends ongoing attention to client education if policyholders are to understand how to use the product to their maximum benefit.