15% have paid this year’s health insurance
The Director General of Mutuelle de santé in the Ministry of Health, has refuted claims that only a small percentage of beneficiaries are paying their contributions to the health insurance scheme.
In an interview, Andrew Makaka noted that Mutuelle is on the right track and more than 15 percent of the population had already paid their contribution.
He however stated that there was still a challenge of people who are not aware of which categories they belong.
“Those who aren’t sure of their categories are mostly the ones who haven’t paid up yet. The process of finalising the list of the population for the different categories is in the final stages,” he said.
Mutuelle subscribers are assigned to one of the three categories that include; the well-to-do who pay Rwf 7,000, relatively modest families pay Rwf 3,000 and the vulnerable whose contributions are covered by the government at a cost of Rwf 2,000 per individual annually.
The government subsidises mutual health insurance programme with US$ 4 million annually while the Global Fund contributes US$ 5million. Contributions by beneficiaries add up to US$ 30 million.
Rwanda is the only country in sub-Saharan Africa in which 85% of the population participates in mutual insurance programmes for their health coverage, according to the World Health Organization.
The government drafted a new plan for community-based health insurance in 2001. Preventative services would be provided for all Rwandans at no cost while curative medical treatment would be made affordable through voluntary community health insurance plans.
The community based Mutuelle programme has registered a lot of progress, including reduction in out of pocket spending, treatment is now affordable to many, and has also encouraged most of them to seek medical services unlike other unhealthy options.
People subscribed to Mutuelle have access to health care through all public and private non-profit health centres in Rwanda.
Contact email: maria.kaitesi[at]newtimes.co.rw