KIGALI - Beneficiaries of the communal health insurance (mutuelle de santé), will soon be able to access medical services from wherever they are in the country.
Currently, beneficiaries access medical insurance services only in sectors where they subscribed.
“Those who need treatment and are far from where they enrolled will use their mutuelle cards to get medical services from the nearest health centre,” Health Minister, Dr. Richard Sezibera, said during a town hall meeting, yesterday.
He made the remarks while highlighting some of the changes within the Communal Health Insurance Policy and noted that the new policy is effective in July.
This implies that the annual health programme of the insurance services will be running from July to June.
Sezibera, added that the planned increment of premiums for the insurance will help meet the current cost of health.
“Previously, the cost of health per person was rated at Rwf 2,000 but now it has gone up to between Rwf 2900 and 3400. That is why we had to increase the premiums,” Sezibera said.
The increment will depend on a member’s financial capacity.
The government has so far come up with three categories; the extremely poor will pay Rwf2,000; the second category, which may have many of the citizens, will pay Rwf 3,000 while the third group is to pay Rwf 7,000.
The contributions are paid on annual basis.
The groups were categorized through Ubudehe, a government programme aimed at reducing poverty levels with particular emphasis on poor households across the country.
There were previously delays by districts in depositing premiums for Mutuelle de Sante. But with the new policy, government will collect premiums without relying on the districts.
He said that additional sources of finances are being devised to supplement on the mutuelle premiums.
According to the Minister, the government will have to impose a slight tax increment on alcohol and cigarettes, while other funds are expected to come from people’s contribution, government budget and donors’ funds.
Mutuelle de Sante enrollment is per individual and foreigners are not eligible.
In a bid to ensure standard and quality medical services, Sezibera said that a Health Insurance Council will be set up to regulate the costs and medical insurance services offered in the country.
The Minister said; “The council will be composed of all stakeholders that offer medical insurance services in the country.”