The Health Insurance Fund has been piloting alternative mechanisms to the traditional development approach since 2006.
In October of that year, the Health Insurance Fund signed a contract with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide affordable access to quality healthcare among low-income populations in sub-Saharan Africa through the introduction of innovative financing mechanisms (including health insurance) and the improvement of healthcare quality. Health Insurance Fund aims to build viable healthcare systems and the infrastructure to increase access to affordable quality basic healthcare for currently uninsured populations in Africa.
In 2015, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to assess the progress and achievements of the first funding term of the Health Insurance Fund and its executing partner PharmAccess over the eight years since inception. Overall, BCG judged that the grant to the Health Insurance Fund was well-invested, and that the long term commitment of the Ministry had been an important factor to spur innovations. According to BCG, “It allowed PharmAccess to intervene in an area where not many Non-Governmental Organizations delve into: the complex public-private healthcare system […] In the process they successfully introduced the targeted paradigm shift (if not completed), accomplished their key objectives and bettered the internal organization and its partners.”
In October 2015, the HIF/PharmAccess Group were given a second grant for the continuation of HIF activities in the 2016 - 2022 horizon to continue and further develop their work of designing, implementing and researching market-based health financing and delivery innovations that work in the real world.
The objectives of the Health Insurance Fund are:
- Develop private pre-payment mechanisms and risk pooling structures, and mobilize resources for organized demand
- Strengthen, benchmark, and certify clinical and business performance of healthcare service suppliers
- Improve efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency to better match demand and supply of healthcare transactions
- Mobilize capital into the private health sector
- Conduct research on the various implemented strategic interventions and advocate those that are successful
Health Insurance Fund supports the activities of its main implementing partner, the PharmAccess Group. As part of its integrated approach, the PharmAccess Group has stimulated initiatives such as the Medical Credit Fund (access to healthcare financing) and SafeCare (healthcare quality improvement). The Health Insurance Fund contracts PharmAccess for the implementation of the programs. Together, these organizations form the PharmAccess Group. The PharmAccess Group has contributed enormously towards the realization of the objectives of the Health Insurance Fund.