Pakistan’s first and fastest growing mass market-health insurance – Easypaisa mass marker-health insurance crosses more than 100,000 subscribers in under a year!
Almost 120 million people live below the poverty line in Pakistan. The lack of access to health care is amongst the leading reasons for low life expectancy here. According to the CIA World Fact Book (2013), 63% of Pakistanis bear the financial cost of illness by resorting to utilizing their savings, borrowing money or even selling household assets to overcome major health catastrophes. These survival techniques leave households in significant debt, making it very challenging to escape the vicious poverty cycle.
Inflationary pressures coupled with meager pay scales have made it difficult for people at the bottom of the pyramid to make both ends meet; consequently, such individuals are reluctant in binding themselves to a monthly premium for health insurance policies. Although there are over 50 insurance companies in the country, over the last two decades, they have at best been able to penetrate only a fraction a percent of the total insurable market.
In January 2015, Easypaisa launched “Easypaisa Sehat Sahara Health Insurance”, Pakistan’s first mass market health insurance product in partnership with MicroEnsure and a leading local insurance company. Easypaisa Sehat Sahara offers a convenient way of improving access to health care by providing financial assistance for inpatient hospitalization and disability, offering a new innovative method of health financing to those in need.
So has the initiative working?
Quite simply, yes! In just under a year since launch, Easypaisa health insurance has gained more than 100,000 subscribers and is opening up new avenues for access to healthcare amongst the masses. So far a few thousand customers, who met unfortunate accidents or unforeseen illnesses, have had their claims honored through the Easypaisa health insurance hospital cash model.
Any Pakistani can subscribe for Easypaisa Health Insurance by paying only PKR 950 per year. In return, they receive inpatient treatment of up to PKR 1,000 per day of hospitalization or PKR 2,000 for each night confined in an intensive care unit of a hospital. In addition, a weekly benefit of PKR 5,000 in case of temporary disability due to injuries is also offered. There is a generous 30 days limit for any single admission and no limit on maximum hospitalizations.
Unlike conventional health insurance, the customer is not required to visit a specified panel hospital and instead can freely visit the nearest healthcare facility, which includes free government or trust as well as private hospitals. Furthermore, the customer is not required to submit lengthy documentation or submit to any medical tests; instead, they need only their CNIC, making this insurance accessible to an unparalleled number of people.
Expressing his delight, Muhammad Yahya Khan, Chief Financial Services Officer and Head of Easypaisa said, ‘The phenomenal growth of subscribers is a testament of the faith subscribers have placed in Easypaisa Sehat Sahara health insurance to help bear the cost of medical care. Such a radically simple process is completely unprecedented in the Pakistani market. In under a year, Easypaisa Sehat Sahara health insurance has gained intense momentum, recognition, and popularity amongst the underprivileged segment of Pakistan.’
Richard Leftley, CEO MicroEnsure Holdings Limited, UK, said “MicroEnsure is excited to partner with Easypaisa to bring this revolutionary product to the mass market in Pakistan. It demonstrates that it is possible to make it easy to sign up, pay premiums and make claims using the mobile phone, all without the normally laborious administration associated with a financial product such as insurance. We are excited to cross 100,000 customers that have opted to buy this product and we look forward to reaching new heights in partnership with Easypaisa.”
Anyone can get an Easypaisa Sehat Sahara policy by visiting a Telenor Sales & Service Center, Franchise or a participating Easypaisa Retailer. In addition, Easypaisa Mobile Account Customers can dial the Easypaisa helpline 3737 to subscribe for the Easypaisa Sehat Sahara health insurance.
Pakistan’s first and largest branchless banking solution, Easypaisa, was launched jointly by Tameer Micro Finance Bank and Telenor Pakistan in 2009. Easypaisa has the largest financial footprint in Pakistan with over 70,000 Easypaisa shops in more than 800 cities across the country. Nearly 650,000 transactions are conducted on Easypaisa every day by 15 million active customers. In 2014, Easypaisa moved nearly 2% of Pakistan’s GDP. Easypaisa has the largest product portfolio of services for its customers including remittances, payments, savings and insurance and offers ATM cards and IBFT services that work with all banks connected through 1-Link in Pakistan. In February 2014, out of more than 250 Mobile Money services around the world, Easypaisa was awarded two GSMA Awards, including the “Best Mobile Money Service in the World” at the Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain. For more information, please visit:http://www.easypaisa.com.pk
About Tameer Microfinance Bank Limited
Tameer Microfinance Bank Limited (TMFB) is the first scheduled and largest Microfinance Bank in Pakistan. Incorporated in 2005, it provides microfinance and related financial services to the less privileged and unbanked segment of the society with an aim to contribute towards poverty eradication under the Microfinance Institution ordinance, 2001. TMFB currently has 157 customer touch point’s nationwide offering a range of financial services including Deposits, Loans, Mobile Accounts, Health Insurance, Remittances, Cash management services, Bank on Wheels. Based on the results for the year ended 31 December 2014, JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS) has reaffirmed the entity ratings of Tameer Microfinance Bank Limited (TMBL) at ‘A+/A-1’ (Single A Plus/A-One). Outlook on the assigned rating is ‘Stable’ as of April 17, 2015. For more information, please visit: http://www.tameerbank.com
About Telenor Pakistan
Telenor Pakistan is a provider of high-quality telecommunication services in Pakistan since 2005. It has over 31 million subscribers, over 2,400 employees, and a nationwide network. Telenor also holds a majority share in Tameer Micro Finance Bank Limited. Telenor Pakistan is 100% owned by Telenor ASA and adds on to operations in Asia. For more information, please visit: http://www.telenor.com.pk
MicroEnsure Pakistan (Private) Limited is a private limited company registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan as a foreign insurance broker and is part of MicroEnsure Holdings Limited, UK. MicroEnsure is a world leader in creating, distributing and operating insurance products and services that help mass market, uninsured people in emerging markets to mitigate the risks they face each day. Currently, MicroEnsure serves over 15 million people across multiple markets in Asia and Africa fulfilling their life, health, disability, property, unemployment and agricultural insurance needs in partnership with top insurance companies. For more information, please visit: www.microensure.com