Recognized for Low-income Health Insurance Product in India
Oak Brook, Ill., (June 4, 2010) — Opportunity International subsidiary MicroEnsure, a leading insurance intermediary for people living in poverty, has been named runner-up for the 2010 Financial Times Sustainable Banking Award for Banking at the Base of the Pyramid.
MicroEnsure was recognized for implementing a successful health insurance product in India serving the low-income market. This health product was the first in India to provide coverage for maternity and pre-existing illnesses from the first day of the policy and allows premiums to be paid in flexible installments. The product costs approximately $10 per year for a family of four people and provides service on a cashless basis.
The awards, organized by the Financial Times and International Finance Corporation (IFC) were announced at a ceremony in London on June 3, attended by more than 250 senior bankers and industry leaders. This year’s nominees were selected from among 155 entrants from 46 countries.
Opportunity International’s MicroEnsure has successfully launched the health insurance product in partnership with a range of microfinance organizations, nonprofits working in slum areas, and church-run hospitals. In the last month, MicroEnsure has extended the product to over 200,000 farmers in Maharashtra state.
Richard Leftley, president and CEO of MicroEnsure, said: “We are delighted to have been recognized for our continuing passion to provide the poor with a safety net. Providing low cost health insurance for the poor is a challenging task that depends on a highly cost-effective administration system and efficient management of the relationships with healthcare providers. Our challenge going forward is to take the lessons learned and apply them to the health insurance products planned for launch in Africa and Asia in 2010 and beyond.”
In addition to health insurance, Opportunity International’s MicroEnsure provides credit life, term life/hospital, property and weather-index crop insurance to more than one million policyholders living in poverty throughout the developing world. In 2009, MicroEnsure won the Financial Times Sustainable Banking Award for Achievement in Basic Needs Financing for its pioneering development of weather index crop insurance in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
For more information, visit www.microensure.com.
About Opportunity International and MicroEnsure
Opportunity International provides small business loans, savings, insurance and training to over two million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. Clients in over 25 countries use these financial services to start or expand a business, provide for their families, create jobs for their neighbors and build a safety net for the future. MicroEnsure is an insurance intermediary dedicated to serving people living in poverty throughout the developing world with an affordable and appropriate range of insurance products. For more information, visit www.opportunity.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.