After attending a conference on micro health insurance in Delhi last week, I wrote this story for the Christian Science Monitor. Interesting stuff.
All the community-based groups providing the insurance plans seem to be doing remarkably well, but like almost everyone I talked to, I’m wondering how long this movement can last in micro form. If the Indian government increases their regulation of micro insurance, it may be hard for the smaller groups to prove their financial stability and expertise. If this idea becomes a well-known success story, large companies may be tempted to see how they can profit.
And, as Mukti Bosco of Healing Fields Foundation points out: insurance alone cannot cure the ills of India’s health system. Even with the best of insurance plans, rural people may not be able to find competent doctors or well-equipped clinics near their villages.
In Andhra Pradesh, a Healing Fields hospital facilitator (right) helps a woman speak with her doctor. (Photo credit: Healing Fields Foundation)