Econet has had EcoSure for a while now and NetOne recently launched OneCover, both providing affordable funeral cover to the masses. We applaud these initiatives but even more important is healthcare for the living. Traditional medical insurance is expensive and inconvenient for the average person. The number of hoops you have to jump through staggers the mind. Enter clinicPesa.
clinicPesa is a micro-savings platform which helps users set aside dedicated healthcare funds. It is a Ugandan startup which we could learn from here in Zimbabwe. Clinics, hospitals and pharmacies need to register on the platform and users can pay their medical bills or buy drugs from the registered institutions.
Users only need a mobile money registered phone number to start saving. In Zimbabwe that would be EcoCash, telecash and OneWallet (soon to be OneMoney) registered phone numbers. Users may not be required to pay a fixed monthly premium but may save as they see fit. The funds so saved are then used when needed and if not used in a year bonuses are earned and added on to the saved funds and carried into the next year. A user need not be restricted to just one mobile money account.
Users can access their clinicPesa accounts using various platforms. WhatsApp, USSD, Messenger, Facebook Web App, Telegram and an Online Web System all being available.
Loans are also availed to users registered on the platform in cases of emergency, subject to a vetting process obviously. This is essential as oftentimes medical bills will be more than the saved funds.
Businesses can also set aside funds for their employees. Again, if funds were not used up in a year, the balance is pushed to the next year. Businesses can use bank transfers to make contributions for their employees. They also can approve or regulate employees’ expenditure remotely.
The government could also chip in and for once provide the people with proper healthcare. Or at least they could promote such an initiative and ensure there are no hurdles for a platfrom like clinicPesa to obtain partners especially from the non governmental organisation community.
Healthcare institutions registered on the platform get to be paid instantly by patients who have accumulated their funds over time. There is flexibility in collection of the funds, daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly collections all being offered.
The clinicPesa process is Register > Account Verification > Save > Get A Bonus > Get a Healthcare Loan > Pay Medical Bill. Simple enough to be understood by everyone.
Millions of Zimbabwe do not have adequate health insurance if they even have any. An initiative such as this one would change the lives of many, there is peace of mind in knowing that one and their family are covered. Seeing as millions of us have mobile money accounts already, it would be convenient and relatively easy to register for a platform like clinicPesa.
Do you think we need a clinicPesa of our own here in Zimbabwe? Do you think it would work? Tell us what you think in the comments below.