Health Savings: A Technical Note

Examining the advantages of offering health savings product
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This Technical Note shares details of the health savings product that Réseau des Caisses Populaires du Burkina (RCPB), an MFI in Burkina Faso, pilot-tested in partnership with Freedom from Hunger and the Confederation of Financial Innovation. The Note aims to encourage further experimentation, replication and innovation in the microfinance sector around this development tool.

RCPB clients expressed a need for a special savings account that they could rely on when health-related expenses arose. RCPB responded to demand by developing a health savings product linked with health loans as well as consumer education on estimating common health expenses and planning ahead to face them. RCPB’s health savings is a voluntary, contractual product available to all clients in participating branches. After nearly three years of experimentation and refinement of the health savings and health loan package, Freedom from Hunger and RCPB are convinced that health savings:

  • Can be cost neutral or better when considering direct, marginal costs, if they are integrated into existing processes and staff workloads;
  • Are simple and efficient to administer;
  • Increase branch liquidity as well as client and staff satisfaction, which lead to substantial financial and nonfinancial benefits for the MFI.

About this Publication

By Reinsch, M., Ramirez, R. et al