Case Study

"Doing the Math" – Women's Health Microinsurance in Guatemala

Studying the value that microinsurance offers in terms of women'’s access to medical care

This case study presents the results of a survey conducted in rural Guatemala to understand the effects of a microinsurance product VivoSegura. The product covered preventive and curative gynecological services as well as cancer treatment among women and it aims to improve access to preventive care and reduce overall health expenses by combining preventive care with insurance coverage of less frequent and more costly illness. MicroInsurance Centre's MILK project partnered with Aseguradora Rural, the commercial insurer that introduced VivoSegura, and interviewed 25 women with insurance and 31 women without insurance. Key findings include:

  • Primary financial value of VivoSegura was in the cash-flow smoothing it provided for the policyholders, which helped them finance basic care through monthly premiums; 
  • While the product helped insured women reduce out-of-pocket spending for both preventive and curative services, they actually spent more after factoring in the annual premium cost;
  • Expected value of VivoSegura was mixed, since many clients who purchased the product attracted by specific coverage often did not use it promptly, while others did not even understand or knew they had the coverage;
  • While part of VivoSegura's objective was to offer service value and extend access to high quality private care to low-income women, slightly less than half of insured respondents reported greater access to private care.

About this Publication

By Poulton, D. & Magnoni, B.