Popular mobile payment platform M-Pesa, developed by Kenya’s largest mobile operator Safaricom, will serve as the premium collection platform for a micro-insurance health cover product.
The product, Linda Jamii, was launched in a joint partnership between Safaricom, Changamka Micro Insurance and investment firm Britam. It will provide a family cover at an annual subscription of KES12 000 (approximately $140).
Statistics indicate that just three per cent of the Kenyan population has health insurance – mainly employer based policies – meaning about 38.8 million Kenyans have no health insurance at all.
“We believe that the cost of insurance premiums is the primary reason that 97 per cent of the population currently caters for their medical expenses out of pocket,” said Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore, in a statement.
According to Collymore the pilot phase brought in 8000 customers.
The cover includes in and out patient, maternity, dental, optical and a hospitalization income replacement benefit of approximately $6 a day in case of lost income while in hospital or death.
“The product has been tailor made to ease the medical burden, particularly for people working in the informal sector. The product will enable them access medical care in more than 600 hospitals countrywide and our goal is to grow that to 1000 by the middle of 2014,” commented Britam’s Group MD, Benson Wairegi.
Linda Jamii offers a micro-saving model which will use M-Pesa as the premium collection platform. Through M-Pesa, one can pay premiums in installments and access partial benefits after accumulating KES 6000 (approximately $70) in contributions.
The policy covers persons from age 18-75 years at entry, children under 18 years are also covered through their parents.