James is one of 33 million Kenyans who are uninsured, including the 90% of Kenyans who work in the informal sector and are ineligible for employer-sponsored insurance coverage. Most of these people are unable to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses. With other immediate needs such as food and education demanding financial attention, insurance coverage is often neglected, contributing to higher infant mortality rates and lower life expectancy in Kenya.
Changamka is working to address the primary challenges of financing, procurement, and distribution of insurance coverage. Their innovative product, called "Linda Jamii," Swahili for "protect the family," is a mechanism that allows clients to save small amounts of money over time towards purchasing health insurance. Changamka's strategies to address barriers to coverage include exclusive savings towards healthcare expenses, flexible timing of payments, affordable access to plans, and utilization of available mobile technology. In addition, the micro-insurance program also benefits healthcare providers, as the electronic operating platform reduces administrative burden on hospitals and clinics.
Since 2012, more than 1,300 people have registered for "Linda Jamii." Changamka is ready to scale nationwide through 2014, developing new hospital partnerships in rural areas and testing new campaigns. Colby shares an exchange she had with James when he dropped her off at the airport to return home and told her that "he and his family recently subscribed for 'Linda Jamii,' bringing his family one step closer to health and financial security and Changamka one family closer to achieving its goal of universal coverage."