Though it has proved to be the fastest-growing class of insurance business in Uganda, the uptake of health insurance in Uganda is less than 1% according to the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) 2022 August publication on the National Health Insurance Scheme.
The report highlights the need to further increase access to insurance services for both the formal and informal sectors so that Ugandans can have access to quality health services since the 1% comprises the formal sector.
To complement the initiatives that have been implemented by the government and other players in the health sector, Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda Limited (AMCUL), Prudential Assurance Uganda Limited, and Insurtech Turaco Insurance Brokers LTD to Airtel and Prudential Uganda’s Hospital Sente launched a low-cost hospital cash insurance product intended to boost access to low-cost medical insurance services with Funeral benefits to the underserved communities and low-income individuals and families.
The service has been extended, in 4 months, to 370,000 users in three months since it was launched on the market in March this year.
Japhet Aritho, Managing Director AMCUL said, “We are impressed with the psositive uptake of the Hospital Sente service since it was introduced to the market a few months ago. The service has been extended to over 370,000 users since we launched it, which showcases the need to design services that address what our people need.”
“Good Health drives the productivity of any economy because we need a healthy human resource to participate in the different socio-economic activities that drive the country’s growth. Micro Medical Insurance services like Hospital Sente are designed for individuals who might not have the cash to access treatment there and then, but are able to pay at a later date based on the policy they have subscribed to.”
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As of June 2023, claims worth over UGX5m shillings were processed in less than 24 hours a testament that the service suits the fast needs of the customers, health care providers and care givers.
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Hospital Sente customers like Moses Hardyson Nangiro, a piggery farmer from Karamoja are already enjoying the benefits of the product. Moses got into a boda-boda accident and was admitted to a health center. He recounted that he ran out of cash and opted to try out Hospital Sente which he had earlier learnt about on TV and registered for the service.
He said, “I opted to engage Turaco, for further assistance via WhatsApp, and within a few minutes I was guided on how to access the benefits and the documents I needed to submit. After a few days, I was able to claim my benefits.”
The burden of accessing quality health care for underserved Ugandans and the Hospital Sente product offers relief with cash payouts in cases of hospital admissions and unfortunate death.
With a monthly premium as low as Ushs 1000, customers can access a hospital cash payout of Ushs 40,000, and a funeral plan of Ushs 1 million under the Silver plan. Other plans include the Gold plan which provides a funeral benefit of Ushs 2 million, a hospital cash payout of Ushs 60,000 per night at a monthly premium of Ushs 3,000 and lastly, the Platinum plan which comes with a funeral benefit of Ushs 4 million, a hospital cash payout of Ushs 100,000 per night of admission with a monthly premium of Ushs 5000.
Zainab Zimbe a mother of two fell sick weeks after signing up for Hospital Sente. When she was hospitalized, she was worried about her children since she was unable to take care of them given her state. Upon discharge, she was able to make her claim and she got a payout of Ushs. 40,000.
“Moses and Zainab represent the various people in our communities and across the country who are in constant need of medical services and a product like Hospital Sente can address the inequalities of access to timely and quality health services. If we collaborate with various sector players we can have solutions to such pertinent issues by designing products that improve our people’s wellbeing,” Aritho stressed.
To subscribe to the Hospital Sente service, Airtel Money customers can access the product by dialing, *185*7*6#.