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Rwanda’s Health Insurance Goes Digital

by Oswald Niyonzima
9:56 pm

Minister Francis Kaboneka-Minaloc(L) explaining changes in Community health insurance payment. Looking on is Patrick Ndimubanzi, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health in charge of Public Health and Primary Health Care.

Rwanda has cut-down on time and resources the citizen spend to pay Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) commonly known as “Mutuelle de Santé” with effect from February 20th.

The Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) and partners announced a new method of payment through Rwanda Online (Irembo), an institution that was contracted a couple of years ago to digitize all government services.

CBHI is a health insurance that include several classes of the community outside the regular working community and established institutions/companies. Its adhesion rate is more than 90% of health insurance in Rwanda.

In the current arrangements, a CBHI subscriber has to pay the premium and take the bank slip to the public insurer – the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) which is also in charge of pensions.

At this level, the beneficiary presents his social ranking in the community – ubudehe category which ranks the financial capability of each and every Rwandan and thus determine required payment accordingly.

In case a subscriber did not know their category, they were required to go back to the sector or cell office to check and come back to get served at RSSB office.

“This has to stop because it is time and money wasting,” said Francis Kaboneka, Miniseter of Local Government at the launch on Tuesday.

The media takes note of change in Health insurance payments

From now going forward, subscribers can pay their premiums by dialing *909# on a mobile phone and follow instructions. They can also use MobiCash, or via Irembo agents.

Dialing *909# allows the user to check the Ubudehe classification and all information related. The system can also guide you through payment of CBHI premium. You only need to have your gadget and the identity card number of the head of the family.

“By applying this technology, a subscriber will only go to the nearest RSSB office to take his insurance card without wasting his time at local administration offices and banks,” Kaboneka said.

Meanwhile, failure to pay via a mobile phone, a subscriber can use the Saving and Credits Cooperative – Umurenge Saccos, also a financial institution of the proximity available in every sector of the country.

“This procedure will save our time and money,” said Jean Pierre Uwemeyimana, a motor operator and subscriber to CBHI.

In CBHI, the poorest are catered for. The government pays Rwf2000 annually for each and every household member of this category locally known as Ubudehe I.

Every household member who is part of Ubudehe II&III raises Rwf3000 annually while Ubudehe IV members raise Rwf7,000 for annul medication.