Resilience and Health Shocks: The Potential of Health Savings Accounts and Health Loans

April 2016

In Burkina Faso, households have access to few resources for facing numerous health and environmental shocks. Economic games were used to introduce health savings accounts (HSAs) and health loans to participants, mimicking real-life products by a local financial service provider (FSP). Participants encountered real-life scenarios and were asked to manage shocks with the resources provided through their game, and their decisions on the use of those resources were recorded. The findings from the economic game suggest that HSAs and health loans have the potential to help the poor better manage health shocks, leaving them better off financially and reducing their long-term costs. This paper highlights the value of FSPs and development practitioners investing in the design and development of shock-specific financial tools.

This study has been published with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor.