Subscribers of the community based health insurance (Mutuelle de santé) across the country will from next financial year no longer be required to show their subscription cards to access medical services.
Officials at Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) said in an interview with Sunday Times on Friday that they will roll out an e-payment system in the next fiscal year 2018-2019 whereby clients will pay their annual premiums using the services of Irembo and MobiCash.
The board wants to do away with paperwork and embrace online payment systems and the previously long process to validate Mutuelle de Santé cards after paying premiums will no longer be applicable.
Deogratias Ntigurirwa, the Division Manager in charge of Mutuelle de Santé mobilisation and registration division at RSSB, said that Mutuelle subscribers will be showing their national identity cards to healthcare providers and the latter will be checking online whether the clients have paid.
That process will end the current situation whereby subscribers pay their premiums from their local banks and go ahead to take their bank slips to RSSB agents at health centres who issue the clients with Mutuelle cards.
The process was taking long and during peak periods in June to pay for Mutuelle premiums, the queues to validate Mutuelle de Santé cards would be overwhelming.
“No validation lines anymore. We are hoping that people will no longer line up to validate their Mutuelle cards because RSSB agents will be accessing their subscriptions data online. People will just have to show their identity cards to access medical care,” Ntigurirwa said.
RSSB has already partnered with MobiCash and Rwanda Online which runs Irembo e-Government platform to ease collection of payment for community based health insurance (mutuelle de santé) across the country.
RSSB officials say that subscribers will be dialing *909# on their mobile phones and then fill in numbers for their national identity cards, a process that will bring more instructions on how to pay for Mutuelle de Santé based on one’s Ubudehe category.
Pierre Claver Nzahumunyurwa, the Director in charge of mobilisation unity for community based health insurance at RSSB, urged Rwandans to get their identity cards and Ubudehe categorisation in order if they are to succeed with paying for Mutuelle subscriptions online.
“Right now we are mobilising citizens so they can understand the process to pay online and ensure that they get their Ubudehe information right so they can pay online. We are urging them to check early enough because citizens’ contribution is going to be vital for the success of this new system,” he said.
Nzahumunyurwa said that Mutuelle de Santé subscribers should embrace the new system of paying online because it will help to do away with having to validate subscription cards before accessing medical care.
“It was a nightmare queuing to get RSSB stamps put in Mutuelle Cards but now people will just pay and go to the hospital once they are sick,” he said.
Every year, slightly over 10 million people in Rwanda are expected to subscribe for the country’s community-based health insurance (CBHI) scheme, which covers the majority of citizens, especially those living in rural areas without regular paid work.
Subscription to Mutuelle de Santé is paid every year and expires at the end of the country’s fiscal year in June.
Today’s subscription rate to the scheme is 82.7 per cent, up from 80.3 per cent in January 2018.