Webinar | The Role of Health Insurance in UHC: Learning from Ghana and Ethiopia

On Wednesday, March 2nd, the HFG project hosted a webinar featuring technical experts: Hailu Zelelew (Senior Associate/Health Economist, HFG Project), Chris Lovelace (Senior Health Governance Expert, HFG Project), and Jeanna Holtz (Health Insurance Specialist, HFG Project).

USAID’s Health Finance and Governance (HFG) project works with partners around the world to support their progress towards universal health coverage (UHC). Protecting families and individuals from catastrophic health costs is one of the pillars of UHC. Health insurance is a key mechanism for providing financial protection. In this technical briefing, HFG shared lessons learned and technical insights from our work in piloting and scaling up community-based health insurance in Ethiopia and supporting Ghana’s National Health Insurance Authority to improve the financial sustainability of its National Health Insurance Scheme.

Webinar Resources:

View presentation slides 
Download presentation slides  

Related Resources:

HFG At Work in Ghana →

HFG At Work in Ethiopia →

Speaker Bios:

Hailu Nega Zelelew is a Senior Associate/Health Economist with over 25 years of experience across a range of development activities. In 2004, Mr. Zelelew joined Abt Associates and served as Senior Healthcare Financing Specialist and Deputy Project Director for the USAID-funded Essential Services for Health in Ethiopia Project, where he led a team of health financing professionals in implementation of health care financing reform in Ethiopia. He previously served as a civil servant in the Ethiopian government, and as a grassroots development practitioner in two NGOs. His expertise includes designing and implementing health care financing and health sector reform, capacity building and technical support to government counterparts, health financing resource tracking using NHA and other tools, evaluation of HIV/AIDS and health projects, costing, policy advocacy, revolving drug funds and pharmaceutical financing. Mr. Zelelew has country experience in Ethiopia, Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Botswana and Nigeria. He holds a Masters in Development Economics from the University of East Anglia in the UK, and a BA Degree in Economics from Addis Ababa University.

Christopher Lovelace is a Principal Associate with the International Health Division of Abt Associates and is country/program manager under the USAID funded Health Finance and Governance (HFG) project for Bangladesh, Ghana and the Asia Bureau.  Presently his core areas of focus are health management and public policy, health financing, health systems strengthening and health governance.  Chris has had a long career in public health at provincial, national and international level.  He was an Assistant Deputy Minister at the British Columbia Ministry of Health 1984-91,95-96. From 1992-1995 he was Director-General of Health and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Health, Government of New Zealand. Chris spent over 16 years with the World Bank holding a variety of positions including Director of Health, Nutrition and Population, Human Development Network;  Director of Human Development for the Europe and Central Asia Region; Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic/Turkmenistan and for Eritrea/Somalia; and Program Lead/Senior Health Advisor, Africa Region.

Jeanna Holtz is a health insurance specialist with more than 25 years of experience in US and international health insurance development and operations. Additional areas of focus include innovation, knowledge management, capacity building and research related to client value and business viability of insurance products for low income households in developing countries. Prior to joining Abt Associates in 2014, Ms. Holtz served as Chief Project Manager of the International Labour Organization’s Impact Insurance Facility. There she launched an innovation grant program which awarded grants of more than $15 million to approximately 60 implementing partners to test approaches to make quality insurance products accessible to poor households in developing countries. Ms. Holtz’s previous experience includes positions with global financial services provider Allianz, and more than a decade with US health insurer Aetna. Ms. Holtz holds an MBA with concentration in healthcare management Northwestern University, and a BSc in Human Nutrition from Washington State University.


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