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For migrants who've left their country to work abroad, sending money back home is par for the course. Remittance flows are a lifeline for low- and middle-income countries, and are estimated to total USD 589 billion over 2021. While most transfers take the form of wired money, startups are building innovative alternatives.
As reported by OkayAfrica, Ghanian native Sam Baddoo was working for an insurance company in the US that helped Americans get healthcare abroad. When his grandmother fell ill back in Ghana, he couldn't direct her care the same way his clients could manage theirs, and she passed away. Baddoo realized that sending money wasn't enough. He created Fleri, a directed remittance platform that allows Africans to buy medical insurance for their family back home and get insight into their care.
The paying party picks a plan and adds beneficiaries. Through partnerships with local insurers and healthcare providers, Fleri then arranges care if needed. Plans range from USD 15/month for telehealth to USD 36/month for comprehensive coverage that includes surgeries. Another option is to skip a monthly plan and just pay directly for medications.
Fleri isn't the first to offer directed remittances for healthcare. Migrants from Zimbabwe, for example, can insure healthcare for their dependents through Diasporameds.
In the anonymous aggregate, money might be more effective in the form of unconditional cash transfers. But for intrafamilial aid, directed remittance platforms like Fleri offer a different advantage.
More than just a financial safeguard, insurance can provide those in the diaspora with peace of mind, knowing that their loved ones' health is in safe hands. Costs could drop as fintech platforms become more efficient, offering access to larger audiences.
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