Online insurance making healthcare accessible for small businesses by pooling smaller groups into larger groups
Project start date : 01/03/2016
Beneficiary country : Philippines (the)
About the project
Maria Health is testing a new model for providing health insurance for small businesses in the Philippines. In the country, 99% of companies are small businesses. Many already access the government health scheme – PhilHealth – but often require a more comprehensive cover. Small businesses find it difficult and expensive to get health insurance to cover their employees. Insurers tend to avoid them, as larger businesses with more workers are seen as less risky and are cheaper to service. To make matters worse, many small businesses do not have the expertise to negotiate with providers and often give up during the time-consuming process of collecting quotes. Maria Health’s core innovation is to pool small businesses through an online market place. Business owners apply, specify the coverage they would like, and are given full support to enroll their team through the online marketplace. Companies with just five employees then have the opportunity to join an existing pool of companies. Through strategic partnerships with HMO providers, Maria Health is able to extend to these small companies the same quality healthcare, same benefits, and competitive rates to small businesses that normally large companies enjoy.
The initiative addresses: a. Access problem for +99% small businesses vis à vis the online marketplace eliminates the need for traditional intermediaries. b. Sales process problem of selling/servicing smaller groups profitably for our health plan providers/insurers. c. Reduces risk profile and stabilizing prices for smaller groups.
The value add of being able to pool smaller businesses through an online health exchange allows Maria Health to extend the same strategy to impact 40-50m smaller groups such as the self-employed freelancers/individuals and to other SEA markets.
10 Full-Time equivalents
6 Service providers
Number of beneficiaries since launch