Designing and Implementing Insurance Management Information Systems

A key aspect of implementing insurance solutions has been the design and implementation of insurance processes and supporting insurance information systems. Swiss TPH has designed and implemented an innovative new Insurance Management Information System (IMIS) in three countries employing the use of mobile phones to optimize enrolment, claims, renewal and feedback processes. The solution is free of license costs for the user and thus has allowed for a cost effective implementation model. The IMIS design has shown flexibility to support various insurance models including centralized national (Nepal), decentralised districts based (Tanzania) as well as a church based (Cameroon and partly in Democratic Republic of Congo) models. Swiss TPH also provides backstopping services to other insurance implementation agencies/organizations. Additionally it provides services such as scheme evaluations, assessments, capacity building workshops, trainings and teaching. Swiss TPH has a wide range of technical expertise with a health systems focus and hence is able to provide comprehensive health insurance solutions.

Insurance Management Information System (IMIS)

Swiss TPH designed and implemented the Insurance Management Information System (IMIS) in Tanzania in the Health Promotion and System Strengthening Project HPSS supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Thereafter the system was also transferred to Cameroon and Nepal and, recently, in South Kivu province in Democratic Republic of Congo in a French version, facilitated by the Swiss TPH. IMIS is establishing itself as a strong and flexible insurance management information system in different countries and is evolving further with its growing community of users.

What is IMIS?

  • Comprehensive system for managing a health insurance scheme (enrolment, renewal, claims management, feedback, reporting)
  • Provides a way to standardize operations of a health insurance scheme while starting up as well as for scaling up across multiple sites
  • Uses easily accessible technology (android mobile phones) – easy to implement, scale and further innovate
  • IMIS targets specifically the challenges of informal sector schemes, both urban and rural – it takes processing closer to clients (cuts down transaction time), applies a cost effective mechanism for establishing identity and eligibility, and supports an ‘active’ enrolment structure
  • Flexible – IMIS is able to operate multiple products, multiple insurance models, multiple structures, and multiple business rules, with the possibility to implement verification mechanisms, etc.
  • On line and offline (both computer and mobile phone) capability to adjust to available infrastructure
  • The system is managed through a central server which can allow for gradual roll out (geographically or feature wise) in a modular way; and for centralized or decentralized management of schemes
  • The system allows “portability” for clients (e.g. clients from district A can utilize the membership card also in District B, and claims are charged to the “home” district)
  • No license fee and (soon to be) open source

IMIS is gaining significant attention in the health financing space globally and has been presented in different forums by various stakeholders:

For further information on IMIS functionality refer to the IMIS Fact Sheet. The system is a living system, growing with expectations and needs of users in the different countries. Further documentation on new features is provided under the Documents section on the right side panel of this page.

Mobile phones are used to decentralize the insurance processing and take it closer to the ground. This helps cut down processing time and increases access and outreach of the technology in remote areas having varying levels of available infrastructure. Mobile phones in IMIS currently support key insurance processes like enrolment, renewals, feedback, client verification and claims submission.

To explore the system further refer to the IMIS walk through videos and the IMIS Demo Server.