In the developing world, illness, injury and death can quickly plunge a struggling family further into poverty, and derail forward financial progress for families making headway in their climb out of poverty.
In addition to financial services, health care is one of the most important services low-income families need and want, and also one of the most difficult to access. To address both of these issues, FINCA has developed a number of health insurance products to help protect our clients and their families.
Since 2009, FINCA Ecuador has included a package of health services to all customers as part of a wider insurance offering attached to loan products. The benefits include:
- Access to a network of 35 primary, private healthcare providers for clients and their families;
- Generic medications, accessible through a network of 150 participating pharmacies;
- A 24/7 telephone service for health consultations;
- Hospitalization coverage and a daily cash benefit for hospital stays, and
- Indemnification in the case of severe illness, such as cancer.
More than fifty thousand clients and their families are currently insured with approximately 2,000 people (clients or covered family members) using the medical services, on average, each year.
Mexico has a large market where even an extensive public health system leaves many, especially low-income families, unable to afford the full costs of treatment. The FINCA + Health research team conducted a feasibility study into a health insurance product for FINCA Mexico clients that could cover treatment of the most common serious diseases – cancer, heart attack and stroke.
And in Uganda, hundreds of FINCA clients and their families are receiving access to free health care and screenings through a partnership between FINCA and AAR Health Services, a healthcare company in East Africa. Participants receive services in FINCA branch offices that include general check-ups, voluntary HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, body mass evaluations, blood pressure testing, nutrition counseling, and family planning, all at no cost to patients.