Telco Safaricom continues to diversify its business model with different products that are accompanied by a fair amount of success. While we are eagerly waiting for to see the offerings of its ecommerce and music streaming services, the local telecommunications genius has gained ground in medical insurance with a product dubbed M-TIBA that was launched sometime in September 2016.
Simply put, M-TIBA was conceptualized to ease medical treatment by offering a platform to send, save and spend money on health matters. Funds saved in M-TIBA are specifically used for medication with partner clinics and hospitals. M-Tiba also has a provision to save medical bills for relatives, friends and staff (comes in handy in business environments) to empower them lead a healthy lifestyle.
Thanks to its provisions and successful deployment of this mobile health wallet, M-TIBA won a gold medal in the Shared Category Value of 2017’s Loeries Awards that took place in Durban, South Africa a few days past. The event primarily focuses on Africa and Middle East in identifying, recognizing and awarding products in the brand communication industry as stepping stone in promoting solutions that have positively changed society through their business models and practices. This award was preceded by the 2017 Financial Times/IFC Transformational Business Award in Sustainable Development on Health, Wellness and Disease Prevention, which recognized M-TIBA’s monthly growth of 56 per cent since January 2017.
“Applying mobile technology to make healthcare more inclusive has increasingly become important in the provision of better healthcare to all Kenyans. The exponential growth of M-TIBA is a clear indication that we are meeting a demand for an essential service that was previously unavailable to many,” says Kees Van Lede, Chief Executive Officer, CarePay Limited.
M-TIBA, which was developed in conjunction with CarePay, a financial engagement company and PharmAccess Group, a non-profit healthcare organization, has been leapfrogging healthcare access among thousands of people. For example, during its launch, M-TIBA scored more than 45,000 user registrations and 60 healthcare facilities that have since alleviated doctor-patient constraints.
“Our partnership has transformed the lives of over one Million Kenyans by enabling access to better quality healthcare. If we can use the mobile phone for more social good such as promoting basic healthcare services, we will have addressed a significant portion of the social challenges that we face as a country” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.
By June 217, M-Tiba had more than 920,000 registered users (with more than 4000 sign in every day) and 450 connected healthcare providers. Out of these users, more than 100,000 of them contacted health facilities in an activity that generated more than KES 140 million in health insurance bills.
To diversify its medical insurance turf, M-TIBA has since partnered with The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to offer health care insurance to more than 2,000 households. By signing up, the M-TIBA-NHIF cover benefits families in informal settlements with in-patient and out-patient cover, maternity package, kidney transplant cover as well as chronic ailments package, among others.
M-TIBA hopes to take care of majority of Kenyans who are excluded from popular health insurance schemes by empowering them to take control of their healthcare and roll over their savings as months slip by.