Fondation Pierre Fabre

Online insurance making healthcare accessible for small businesses by pooling smaller groups into larger groups

Main beneficiary country:

About the sponsor

Maria Health, Inc.

Maria Health's vision is to make healthcare more accessible/affordable for anyone who wants it, starting with the Philippines. Our initial target market are the +99% of companies who are small businesses where today brokers/health plan providers don't sell to them because its "unprofitable". To solve this problem, Maria has partnered up with the top health plan providers to bring healthcare online. For consumers we're the first online health exchange and we earn revenues when we sell/renew a health plan to companies.

Sector: Industrial: Startups, enterprises, etc.

Country of origin: Philippines

The organisation has:

Full-Time Equivalents
Service providers

Initiative overview

Healthcare themes targeted

  • Mother and child health
  • Primary healthcare
  • Malaria/paludism
  • Infectious diseases
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Access to quality medicines/pharmacies
  • Vaccination
  • Chronic diseases
  • Cardiovascular illnesses
  • Cancer
  • Oral health
  • Mental health
  • Ophthalmology
  • Emergency services

Stage of development:

  • Routine project/operational

Area where initiative is utilised

  • National (in one country only)

Initiative start date

  • 03/01/2016


Financing method

  • Private (private investors, crowdfunding, philanthropy, etc.)

Economic model(s)

  • Commission revenue when a health plan is sold to a company or individual

About the initiative

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.

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.

Fields of application:

Information, education and communication for behaviour change (IEC) - Financial access to care, microinsurance

Target audience

  • Entire population
  • Initially our target market are the 99% out of 1m registered businesses that are considered small businesses (5 to 100 employees). Our next areas of impact and growth is to extend our services to individual market.

Initiative objectives

  • Decreased mortality
  • Decreased morbidity
  • Reduced suffering
  • Improved treatment
  • To reduce out of pocket expenses

Key figures

1000 Number of beneficiaries since launch

150 Number of users per Month

Materials used

  • Cellular (mobile) phone
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Computer

Technologies used

  • Mobile telecommunications (without data connection)
  • Internet

Offline use


Open Source


Open Data


Independent evaluation



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