This profile was prepared when Asher Hasan was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
In South Asia, where quality health insurance is available only to the wealthy, Asher is leveraging corporate, academic, large citizen organizations (COs), and small medium enterprise resources to finance low-cost, private health insurance for the working poor. His flagship plan, one of several he is currently testing, reaches domestic staff and shares costs across three payers: The well-to-do employer of the corporation, the well-to-do corporate executive and the informal domestic worker of the corporate executive who is the end beneficiary of the health plan—a maid, driver, cook, or guard. At present, the low-income beneficiaries are predominantly located in the large metropolises of Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad but there are now almost 4,000 children from a rural, interior part of Sindh Province that are also covered. Asher’s Karachi-based team negotiates exclusive pooled-risk agreements with insurance underwriters and leverages the underwriters’ existing nationwide networks of quality, inpatient/ER-trauma healthcare delivery systems. With over 10,000 people now enrolled, he aims to extend affordable access to quality catastrophic healthcare to at least 320,000 people in India and Pakistan by 2015, achieving at least a 70 percent retention rate among plan participants as the effort advances.