The good news is that some firms have come together to help end this. Safaricom Ltd, Britam and Changamka last week unveiled an affordable micro-insurance health service to the masses in a move to make medical insurance accessible and affordable to everyone.
Dubbed Linda Jamii, the Obamacare-like service is an affordable and comprehensive medical cover that will provide a family premium cover at an annual subscription of around $140 (Ksh 12, 000) for a cover valued at $3,400 (Ksh 290,000.) Linda Jamii is both an in and out patient service and covers maternity, dental, optical, a hospitalisation income replacement benefit of Kshs.500 per day to take care of a patient’s lost income while in hospital and in the case of death, funeral expenses.
Users will use M-Pesa to save and pay their premiums in installments. Users can start uisng the cover as long as they accumulate $70 (Ksh 6,000) in contributions. Open for persons 18-75 years and kids under 18 covered via their parents, the service is available in all Safaricom shops and M-Pesa agents countrywide, Uchumi Supermarkets and Postbank outlets countrywide.
On the public launch Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said, “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.
If you have been keen, you have probably heard of Linda Jamii already. It’s not new as it was launched last year November 2013. But that’s not a big deal, who doesn’t want to push their services to the people who need them most? 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.
Linda Jamii is expected to enable users access medical care in more than 100 hospitals countrywide by mid this year.