Health Insurance

Few low- and middle-income countries have managed to provide full access to affordable health services. Health Insurance can contribute to Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and overall wellbeing by preventing burdensome personal expenditures. 

KIT supports several countries, mainly in Africa, in developing health insurance initiatives

Universal access to health

Health insurance arrangements – in the form of social health insurance, community-based health insurance, or private health insurance – are increasingly seen as important financing mechanisms for health care in developing countries.

Health insurance has the potential to increase funding for health care, thus improving the overall standard of care. It also shares the risks for catastrophic health expenditures across larger population groups, and as such may become a solidarity mechanism between the sick and the healthy, between the poor and the better-off.

Raising the standard of care

Too often health insurance is based on insuring only the employed, as it is easier to deduct premiums from monthly salaries. Consequently it does not reach the poor, and thus does not support UHC. Health insurance provides the opportunity to contract both public and private sector providers to deliver the same package of quality care. Purchasing by insurance companies can be used strategically to provide incentives for quality, or to target the poor.

KIT supports countries in developing the tools to set up and implement health insurance schemes. We base our approach on the assumption that health insurance, besides generating additional funding and pooling risk, has more to offer communities.

KIT’s contribution to health insurance in Africa

  • Training the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in Ghana on health and health insurance policies and strategies. We supported the NHIA in developing an agenda for research, and their management information system on the performance of both the district schemes as well as the performance of the contracted providers. Local Governments and other demand-side representatives were supported in using the M&E information for holding providers to account on their results.
  • Supporting the Egyptian MoH in developing an impact evaluation of their Family Health Insurance Scheme.
  • The Benin government is being supported in designing the implementation of its new national health insurance scheme (RAMU) through action-research, and professionalising its Community Based Health Insurance schemes.

Our experts

Jurrien Toonen

Senior Advisor

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Photo of Ankie van den Broek

Ankie van den Broek

Senior Advisor

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