Retired employees, who receive monthly pensions, can now benefit from the Rwanda Social Security Board’s (RSSB) health insurance cover.
This was revealed by Oswald Munyandekwe, the RSSB’s Director of Pensions, in an interview with The New Times.
“Since September 1, 2011, we started implementing a plan of enabling pensioners to benefit from our medical insurance. In this plan, anyone who gets the monthly pension can register, and continue getting medication, even after retirement.”
Before September, an employee ceased to use (RAMA) medical insurance cards upon retirement.
Munyandekwe further explained that the fund would deduct 7.5 percent from a person’s monthly pension, and contribute a similar percentage towards health insurance.
The new development comes into effect following the merger of the then Social Security Fund of Rwanda (CSR) with the Medical Insurance Fund (RAMA) to form RSSB.
The 15 percent total caters for the medical insurance cover of the pensioner and his or her dependants formerly catered for by RAMA.
However, retired employees who withdrew their pensions in a lump sum cannot benefit from the scheme, though the board plans to devise means to enable them to also benefit.
“They cannot get insured yet they withdrew all their money. But, we are studying another program, where they can contribute the (15) total percentage, then possibly enjoy the benefits too.”
He however said that it would be difficult for pensioners who have never been on RAMA to be included in the scheme, saying that they are more suited to join Mutuelle de Sante.
“What should be done instead is to continue strengthening Mutuelle de Sante as it is being done, to ensure that they get more services there other than joining RAMA.”
Ibingira Vide, a retired engineer, from Kabeza, Kicukiro District, welcomed the initiative, saying this would boost their health.
“The elderly are deprived of the RAMA medication at the time that they need it most – one is weaker and sickly at old age. We will start living longer now that we have medical insurance,” he said.
Margaret Gihozo Shaka, a retired teacher, also suggests that RAMA should reduce the 7.5 percent deduction to make it more affordable.
“7.5 percent is a lot, especially for those who depend on their pension to feed their families,” she said.
RSSB works alongside district Inspectors of Labour, workers’ unions, and several other authorities to assist retirees to claim their pensions before enlisting them as beneficiaries.