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What is CBHF?

What is a Community-Based Health Financing Scheme (CBHF Scheme)?

A CBHF Scheme is any scheme managed and operated by an organization, other than government or a private for-profit company, that provides risk pooling to cover the costs (or part thereof) of health care services. The scheme is voluntary in nature but could be owned by a variety of organizations and covers a variety of benefit packages.

What do all these acronyms mean?

CBHF: Community-Based Health Financing
CBHI: Community-Based Health Insurance
CHF: Community Health Fund
MHO: Mutual Health Organization (mutuelles de santé or mutuelles)
PHRplus: Partners for Health Reformplus

What is Risk Pooling?

Risk pooling is a general term that is used to define the way in which cost-sharing techniques can make health care more affordable.

What are Mutual Health Organizations (MHOs) or "Mutuelles de Santé"?

MHOs or Mutuelles are autonomous, non-profit community or enterprise-based health financing schemes based on the up-front contributions of many people for the health care costs of a few. Contributions are rated on a community basis as opposed to an individual basis. MHOs attempt to maintain democratic accountability to their members and promote solidarity and mutual aid between members. MHO is a term specific to Ghana. “Mutuelles de Santé” are found in francophone West Africa.

What is a Community Health Fund (CHF)?

A CHF is a voluntary, community-based financing scheme whereby households pay contributions to finance part of their basic health care services to complement Government health care financing efforts. The CHF term currently is specific to Tanzania.

How do MHOs work?

Members of an MHO agree to contribute a small, fixed amount at regular intervals. The costs of treatment for any member who becomes sick is paid from these contributions. The types of services to be paid for (e.g., cost of drugs, admission, consultations, etc.) as well as the maximum amount to be paid per person are decided by the members.

What are the goals of an MHO?

MHOs can increase access to health care by reducing financial barriers. MHOs aim to enable marginalized sections of the population to access quality health care. MHOs also attempt to help stabilize the incomes of poor people, contribute to resource mobilization for the health sector, and help make public providers more efficient and responsive to consumer needs.


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