Paper

Workshop Report HIV/AIDS and Microinsurance in Africa

How can microinsurance help in dealing with HIV/Aids?
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This report presents discussions and outcomes of the workshop HIV/AIDS and Microinsurance in Africa. The workshop discussed:

  • The effect of HIV/AIDS on the health situation;
  • The resultant change in the market place of MFIs and microinsurance companies (MICs);
  • The demand for financial products;
  • The roles of MFIs and MICs:
    • Contributing to poverty alleviation, reduced vulnerability and economic empowerment of women;
    • Providing access to health care via insurance products.

The workshop also discussed the following strategies for MFIs and MICs to deal with HIV/AIDS:

  • Prevention strategies;
  • Product adjustments;
  • Introduction of:
    • New products other than insurance;
    • Insurance services.

The workshop:

  • Highlighted the advantages of microinsurance;
  • Distinguished the four main categories of insurance products;
  • Focused on the relevance of health and life insurance in the face of HIV/AIDS;
  • Discussed the barriers to health insurance.

The report lists the following lessons learned:

  • Product design should be on the basis of market research;
  • Products should be kept simple;
  • Group-based products decrease adverse selection;
  • Price premium should be set by the insurer;
  • Staff training, client education and marketing is necessary for sales growth;
  • Computerization is necessary for data mining and efficiency.

The report concludes by discussing the future, stressing the need for consorted efforts among MFIs, HIV/AIDS organizations, insurance companies, clients, health service providers and technical assistance providers in order to gain a foothold on the HIV/AIDS problem.