Empowering Underserved Communities


Empowering Underserved Communities

3 min read Jun 23, 2022

We are committed to providing targeted products to those who need them most by innovating inclusive solutions that recognize and address the historical biases that have resulted in financial inequities within underserved populations.     

Driving Financial Wellness

MetLife’s Financial Wellness and Engagement group is responsible for powering long-term solutions that bring financial wellness and education to individuals while strengthening our relationship with employers. The division helps us address and design solutions for financial health and wellness needs. This includes understanding the needs and financial behaviors of racially and ethnically diverse communities (see Sharing Insights that Address Employee Well-Being). 

Learn more about our Financial Wellness products >

PNB MetLife has partnered with India Post Payments Bank to launch low-cost insurance.
PNB MetLife has partnered with India Post Payments Bank to launch low-cost insurance.

MetLife's financial solutions

MetLife has introduced Upwise™, a free app that helps consumers build positive financial habits and feel good about their progress. Upwise™ is designed to connect consumers’ behaviors around common financial concerns or emotional stresses like monthly budgeting, paying off debt or long-term savings. The app begins by assessing the consumer’s emotions about money—we call it the Money Mood tool—and then works with individuals to make managing their financial life more enjoyable and rewarding.

Understanding that some communities require different support, we have developed a strategy to create content within the app that supports the needs of diverse consumers. We have formed a content partnership with Yemi Rose, founder and CEO of the fintech OfColor—a platform established to improve the financial health of people of color—to incorporate its content in the app. We are adding content to educate users on eco-friendly ways to manage their money, and we have established an external advisory council comprised of industry experts who specialize in best practices for improving financial health in underserved communities.

Upwise™ helps consumers prioritize financial goals and suggests simple actions for them to develop good financial habits, feel more optimistic about what their money can do for them and free up the next dollar so they can spend it on what matters most. The app also engages consumers through personalized challenges that offer fun, rewarding ways to help them achieve small wins that lead to big outcomes.

MetLife’s PlanSmart program is a multi-channel experience that focuses on behavioral change, with tools and guidance that empower customers’ employees to build financial literacy, confidence and well-being. MetLife administers the PlanSmart program which includes broad transition solutions from tools for individuals to financial education workshops provided by specially trained third-party financial professionals.1

MetLife recently enhanced PlanSmart to better serve diverse customers. We created a new workshop for the LGBTQ+ community that offers insight on marriage and family planning solutions, closing a retirement savings gap, planning for long-term care and setting up an estate plan. 

We also worked with several institutional customers to better use PlanSmart workshops for their employees of color, while updating other workshops to reflect comments from our partners at OfColor.  

In India, PNB MetLife partnered with India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) to launch low-cost insurance. The government-backed product provides a means of protection and financial security to a large portion of low-income and underserved customers—especially those in unbanked or remote areas. In Korea, MetLife’s Mini Insurance products offer customers single-pay options that provide one year of coverage for less than KRW 5,000 (~$4.25). We introduced Smart and Easy MetLife Mobile, an online platform that offers a simple purchase experience for six Mini Insurance products. MetLife Korea hosted the “Donation with Mini Insurance” campaign and donated KRW 10,000 for every mini insurance policy sold, where MetLife Korea and MetLife Korea Foundation contributed KRW 5,000 each. In 2021, MetLife Korea sold nearly 2,000 policies and donated a total of KRW 20 million for the campaign. The donation went to Korea Society of Retired Fire Officers to support medical treatment for retired fire officers fighting cancer.

 In the U.K., MetLife launched MortgageSafe, a policy that ensures mortgage repayments are covered when someone is unable to work due to accident or illness for four weeks or more. MortgageSafe offers three levels of protection, giving customers of all income levels anoption to secure their most valuable asset.

Mexico Private Sector Alliance to Promote Financial Inclusion

Responding to an invitation from the UN Development Programme, MetLife Mexico co-founded the Private Sector Alliance to Promote Financial Inclusion. The Alliance has focused on developing collaborative business models to expand financial health and inclusion for underserved customer segments.

The Alliance established four workstreams to provide access to and use of financial services:

  • With a gender perspective;
  • For small- and medium-sized enterprises;
  • For populations in rural areas; and
  • For financial resilience.
Met99 helps our clients to protect their loved ones.
Met99 helps our clients to protect their loved ones.

Many of our products cater to low- and moderate-income families. These products protect our customers against death, sickness or disability. 

Along with our internal DEI focus, MetLife provides solutions to support diverse and accessible education and resources. We start by doing our best to understand the diversity of our customers and then develop and provide flexible and relevant solutions that recognize an individual’s specific needs.

Learn more about our products that serve diverse populations >

MetLife solutions

In line with MetLife’s focus on gender equality, we are committed to meeting the financial health needs of women, who are fast becoming key household earners. In EMEA, Women’s Protect covers cancer treatments, along with offering discounts on a variety of health and wellness benefits. MetaLife Mujer in Mexico and Seguro Vida Pensión 57 Mujer in Colombia offer special assistance for issues directly affecting women.

Several of MetLife’s products allow insured individuals to easily connect with providers that share similar backgrounds, who look like them and share their same language. This is essential to helping everyone get the quality of care they deserve. Language and communication disparities between a patient and a network dental healthcare provider, as one example, can result in adverse health outcomes and treatment errors. MetLife offers one of the largest national preferred provider organization (PPO) dental networks featuring: 

  • Enhanced benefits and outreach for higher-risk populations (e.g., people with diabetes or hypertension);
  • Health data connected to products, including other employers’ non-MetLife offerings (e.g., across medical providers), to maximize usage of all benefit opportunities; and
  • Robust health education and an integrated dental and wellness program to promote oral health and well-being. 

The wide-ranging, diverse network means that over 90% of members live within 10–15 miles of a network dentist, allowing us to meet the needs of a diverse patient population. Where necessary, mobile dentistry capabilities and vendor relationships can bring dental care to employees. We also recruit all dentists with a network credentialing process that includes providers’ cultural competencies. 

MetLife is one of the only dental carriers certified for dental continuing education, which includes health DEI training for network dentists and non-network dentists. Multiple languages may be spoken within dental provider offices, and MetLife provides health history forms available in approximately 50 spoken languages. 

In Mexico, we offer a flexible life insurance product called Met99, designed to make financial planning more accessible to low- and moderate-income government employees. Customers can choose the protection they need from more than 20 benefits. Met99 enables individual policyholders and their economic dependents to have life and other kinds of protection within the same policy. 

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