Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) has announced plans to partner with MobiCash to ease collection of payment for community based health insurance (mutuelle de santé) across the country.
MobiCash is a mobile payment service designed to offer a secure cashless mobile financial platform.
According to Deogratias Ntigurirwa, the in charge of Mutuelle de Santé mobilisation and registration division at RSSB, subscribers are expected to start using the new digital platform in June this year.
RSSB is making efforts to introduce technology in mutuelle de santé systems. The insurance covers more than 90 per cent of Rwandans.
In an interview with The New Times, Ntigurirwa said beginning with the 2018-2019 fiscal year clients will pay their subscriptions using the digitalised platform.
Mutuelle subscribers are currently required to pay their contributions then go to physically validate their cards, which takes time.
“Long queues that form at the time of cards validation is a big inconvenience as some people pay and it takes time to get their cards. Some people fall sick before getting their cards when they have paid. This is part of our efforts to improve efficiency,” Ntigurirwa said.
He said it is also a challenge to establish the number of subscribers in a timely manner without calling all the sections to compile the numbers.
“If we have 416 SACCOs in the country and every member has their own file, it will take a lot of time to call every manager and sometimes mismatch or errors occur in numbers,” he said.
“With the new system, members will only be required to pay with MobiCash. When they visit hospitals, they will check in the system with their ID cards to access their payment status and all related information,” he said.
Mutuelle cards will only serve to check physical appearance, he added.
Ntigurirwa said they are working together with the Local Administrative Agency Entities Development Agency (LODA) to synchronise the information of Ubudehe social stratification to be accessed by Mutuelle de Santé.
This process goes together with ID number corrections and partnership with local government, he said.
“Some ID numbers are not correctly written, others are not registered. We are working together with LODA and local governments to make corrections for the system to work for all members,” he said.
In December 2017, RSSB met all SACCOs (Savings and Credit Cooperative) in the country to discuss how to use MobiCash in Mutuelle payments, he said.
“We are conducting an awareness campaign with the help of local leaders asking people to ensure their ID numbers are well written in LODA system,” he said.
Today, the number of Mutuelle subscribers who paid their contributions stands on 80.3 per cent.
Emile Kinuma, the chief executive officer of Mobicash, told The New Times that they have agents in all SACCOs in the country in order to facilitate payments for Mutuelle de santé members.
“We have an application which uses internet to connect with RSSB, so we can have access information about Mutuelle members, including the amount of money they have to pay and their identification numbers,” he said.
After paying, people will be given receipts and the system will immediately send a message to their mobile phones confirming their payments and notifying them that they are allowed to receive medical services under the scheme, he added.