Jawabu Microhealth

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Providing Kenya’s low-income households with affordable health insurance to improve their social and financial security

REGION
East Africa
SECTOR
Health

FIRST YEAR OF INVESTMENT

2015

The Challenge

In Kenya, the biggest barrier to entry for health care is cost. In fact, the poorest Kenyan households spend a third of their resources on health care each year compared to only 8% by the richest households. Fifty-three percent of health care costs are paid by customers accessing services, therefore limiting service for those who cannot afford it or do not have access to alternative financing options. Even if cost is not an obstacle, low geographical coverage and a shortage of qualified providers often preclude Kenya’s poor from accessing quality healthcare.

The Innovation

For the 8.5 million unsalaried Kenyans working in the informal sector, Jawabu Microhealth offers bundled health insurance for in-patient services and a medical savings account (MSA) for outpatient expenses. Jawabu’s MSA covers outpatient expenses which rolls over from year to year and can be shared with customers’ “extended families” beyond spouses, children, and relatives, in line with Kenyan culture. In addition, Jawabu offers customers access to a network of conveniently located, high-quality medical clinics that have agreed to cap the total costs of treating the ten most common medical issues.

The Impact

Access to affordable inpatient coverage combined with an outpatient medical savings account helps to improve individuals’ and households’ long-term financial security, protect Kenya’s informal sector workforce from catastrophic financial loss and improve health outcomes for low-income populations.

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