Sam Agutu

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2012


This profile was prepared when Sam Agutu was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Sam is giving low- to middle-income earners, underserved by the current health insurance market, the ability to access affordable and quality healthcare services. He does this by leveraging the existing reach and efficiency of telecommunications infrastructure to enable anyone with a mobile phone to use it in combination with accessible smart card, and electronically save for healthcare in a convenient manner, and in affordable amounts. Sam is getting private healthcare providers to fix their charges at a much lower price point and is using a paperless process to revolutionize the speed and efficiency with which claims are processed and remittances are made to service providers.

Sam is building the architecture that will make affordable and quality healthcare accessible to 95 percent of Kenyans currently uncovered by conventional health insurance models, and his game changing idea is transforming the focus of health insurance in Kenya from institutional to individual membership. He is making it possible for health coverage to be shared among friends and family, and for people and institutions to contribute to the coverage of any individual(s) directly. In addition to transforming the health insurance sector, Sam is looking to change individual behavior. By making quality healthcare more accessible and affordable, he wants to improve the health seeking behavior of Kenyans. Sam finds that more people are making the choice to seek professional medical care earlier, rather than self-medicating or waiting until their conditions have deteriorated.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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