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Safaricom adds mobile muscle to Kenya’s medical insurance

January 23, 2014 • East Africa, Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore. (Image source: Google/comm.ae)

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore. (Image source: Google/comm.ae)

Mobile payment platform M-Pesa, developed by Safaricom, will serve as the premium collection platform for Linda Jamii, a micro-insurance health cover offering established through partners Britam, Safaricom Limited and Changamka Micro-insurance.

The companies have jointly launched an affordable micro-insurance health cover which will widen the bracket of the population with access to medical insurance.

The health insurance product known as Linda Jamii is an affordable and comprehensive medical cover that will provide a family premium cover at an annual subscription of KES12, 000 (approximately $140) for a cover valued at KES 290,000 (approximately $3500).

The cover will cater for in and out patient, maternity, dental, optical, a hospitalization income replacement benefit of Kshs.500 (approximately $6) per day to take care of lost income while in hospital and in the case of death, funeral expenses.

Linda Jamii has adopted 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 6,000 (approximately $70) in contributions.

“Kenya has for a long time been accused of lacking a culture of adopting insurance. However we believe that the real reason that 97% of the population caters for their medical expenses out of pocket, is because of the cost of insurance premiums. Therefore, Linda Jamii is to medical insurance what M-Pesa is to financial services. They both promote inclusion,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.

Statistics indicate that only 3 percent of the Kenyan population has health insurance-mainly employer based policy- meaning about 38.8 million Kenyans have no health insurance.

“Linda Jamii has been tailor made to ease the medical burden particularly for people working in the informal sector. This product will enable them access medical care in more than 600 hospitals countrywide and our goal is to grow that to 1000 by mid this year,” said Britam’s Group MD Benson Wairegi.

The idea of Linda Jamii was conceived by Changamka which recognized that many Kenyans were being locked out of the medical cover bracket by the cost of the medical packages on offer.

“The vast majority of the Kenyan population does not have a steady income. Subsequently, they cannot afford the premiums of existing medical covers which in essence leaves quality healthcare as the reserve of a privileged few. The introduction of Linda Jamii is therefore meant to fill this gap and shatter this medical cover glass ceiling thus allowing more Kenyans to access and enjoy better healthcare,” said Changamka  CEO, Sam Agutu.

One can register for Linda Jamii  in all Safaricom shops, Uchumi and Postbank outlets as well as select M-Pesa agents countrywide. The policy covers persons from age 18-75 years at entry, children under 18 years are also covered through their parents.

Staff Writer

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