Skip to main content

Pioneering the “Women’s World Banking Caregiver Policy” for MFW clients

About the Project
Project start date: 
May 2009
21 months
País de operaciones: 
Health - in-patient
Project Thematic Focus: 
Product design

Project Basics


 MicroFund for Women (MFW) was registered as a local not for profit company under the Ministry of Trade in 1999.  MFW aims to harness the productive capacity of micro-entrepreneurs in Jordan, especially women, by providing them with financial and non-financial services. Its work contributes to the empowerment of underprivileged women as they become income earners and decision-makers in their communities and to reduce unemployment by enhancing economic opportunities and providing support to entrepreneurial enterprises.

Consortium member

Started in 1979, Women’s World Banking (WWB) is a global network of 41 leading microfinance institutions from 29 countries. The network members are diverse in geography, size and structure, but united in the firm belief that global poverty can be best addressed by increasing the economic access, participation and power of low-income women. Collectively the network reaches over 21 million poor entrepreneurs, the majority of whom are women.

The goal of the project is to develop an affordable health insurance product that will offset some critical costs borne by MFW clients in accessing public health care. MFW and Women’s World Banking (WWB) conducted a demand assessment and surveyed the Jordanian healthcare industry in 2007 to assess the gaps in the current health care coverage available to MFW clients.  While every citizen has access to public facilities for primary health care, the research indicated that satisfaction with public healthcare is low especially for emergency and more extensive healthcare due to overcrowded environments, absence of necessary medications and often, a lack of professionalism of medical staff. The Caregiver product would enable MFW clients, if they choose, to receive cash payments to help offset the cost of accessing health care facilities for emergencies and more serious illnesses. In particular, the product is intended to cover the incidental costs of travel to the hospital, and lost wages or other costs incurred during a longer hospital stay.

MFW primarily serves women (approx 96%) borrowers with an emphasis on those below the poverty line. Research indicates that health is among the top three most important financial concerns and need of MFW’s target group. The Caregiver product will be offered to MFW’s nearly 55,000 borrowers in a phased manner:

  • Phase 1: For borrowers only (mandatory cover):  Pilot in 2 of the largest MFW branches for 6 months.
  • Phase 2: For borrowers only (mandatory cover): Roll out to MFW’s full branch network (22 branches).
  • Phase 3: Voluntary cover for family members of clients:  Pilot, test and roll out a Family Cover product, in which MFW clients could voluntarily purchase cover for family members.

The project commenced with several challenges noted:

  • Creating the optimal product design and pricing structure for individuals as well as family members
  • Introducing the first hospital-cash insurance product in Jordan
  • Launching the first voluntary microinsurance product in Jordan and achieving sustainability
  • Controlling moral hazard associated with voluntary health products.

 Date of last Learning Journey update: August 2011