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Developing Health Financing Products in Southern Africa

About the Project

Project Name: Developing Health Financing Products in Southern Africa
Type of Facility Project: Microinsurance innovation grantee
Country of Operation: South Africa
Region: Africa
Sub Topics: Mobile network operators, Health

Organizational Overview

The Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (Cenfri) is a non-profit thinktank based in Cape Town and operating in collaboration with universities in the region. Cenfri's mission is to support financial sector development and financial inclusion through facilitating better regulation and market provision of financial services. To do this, Cenfri conducts research, provides advice and develops capacity building programmes for regulators, market players and other parties operating in the low-income market.


Project Description

In 2012, Cenfri began exploring the concept of creating an Innovation Lab, which would connect Cenfri’s wealth of financial sector research with private partners seeking to innovate in the space. Access to financial services, including insurance, remains quite limited in most countries outside of compulsory products. Financial inclusion data from the World Bank indicates that only 11% of the low-income adult population saved at a formal financial institution and 8% of the same group saved u...READ MORE

Project Status

Project Updates
As of April 2013 InnoLab concept documents were finalized at Cenfri, which were shared with potential partners to describe the potential ways that Cenfri could collaborate with private partners. Microinsurance fellow Tyler Tappendorf joined Cenfri to assist on the InnoLab concept until February 2014. Conversations with Vodacom South Africa brought the company onboard as Cenfri’s first InnoLab partner. In the first month, project objectives, scope, and timelines were finalized. Work b...READ MORE

Project Lessons

On mobile health microinsurance Simple product structures work best.  Simplicity of benefits and administration ease the understanding and uptake of products by clients. At times, however, these simple products come at the expense of not providing the highest possible value to clients. In addition to simple structures, those mHealth products that have been most successful had very few exclusions—leading to less confusion regarding product understandin...READ MORE
Overview of drivers and challenges in South African mobile health insurance Traditional medical insurance products in South Africa (medical schemes) are prohibitively expensive for low-income groups. Although medical schemes have been largely successful in facilitating financing for health care within the highly advanced private healthcare system in South Africa, these products have done so only for roughly 16% of the population—a figure which has only flu...READ MORE
Overview of drivers and challenges for Mozambique mobile health insurance The overwhelming majority of people access health care through free, public facilities. With nearly 95% of the population relying on free public clinics and hospitals, very little direct cost of care falls on the patient. Instead the main costs of health care involve the purchase of prescriptions at private pharmacies, transportation expenses to public health facilities, and lost incom...READ MORE
Project page contributor/s:  Tyler Tappendorf (Cenfri) and Caroline Phily (the Facility)
Date of last update:  May 2014