Research has shown that healthcare costs often exert the most financial pressure on poor families. Moreover, medical problems are compounded by the fact that the poor are less likely to seek treatment early in an illness for fear of losing income by taking time away from their families or businesses. Meeting the costs of an unexpected health emergency is the most common reason women give for having to liquidate or de-capitalize their businesses. These circumstances only serve as a catalyst for moving further into poverty, depriving families of the tools they once had to generate revenue. Given the negative impact a health emergency can have, microinsurance has tremendous potential to provide security and stability to a poor household.


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