By JOHN CHOLA
The one million-plus persons signed up as principal members of the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) will now make their contributions through Airtel Money.
Airtel Mobile Commerce Zambia, a subsidiary of Airtel Networks Zambia trading as Airtel Money, says this follows an announced partnership with NHIMA to facilitate e-collection of 1.1 million members’ contributions through Airtel Money.
Airtel Money will provide NHIMA with an efficient solution for collecting and managing contributions and penalties from individuals who make contributions based on their income and employing institutions.
Upon making payments, contributors will receive e-mail/SMS notification from the system from which they can also track payments. The solution also facilitates reconciliation of records by NHIMA.
Airtel Money Director James Chona has told Solwezi Today that the NHIMA partnership with Airtel Money fits into Government’s agenda to provide a sound and reliable healthcare financing platform to all Zambian households, irrespective of their socio-economic status.
NHIMA paid-up members can then access medical services at public health facilities including registration, consultation, pharmaceuticals, in-patient services, surgical services, ambulance, mobile and referral services, annual medical checkups, mental health, health promotion activities, maternal and pediatric services, dental and vision care.
Chona says the partnership is part of Airtel Africa’s growing suite of innovative solutions that are convenient and suited to customers’ needs.
“We are excited to work side by side with the Zambian Government in realizing the promise of universal healthcare services to all Zambians through an easy, convenient, secure and seamless mode of payment. This is a milestone in enabling the ongoing transformation into a cashless digital economy, in the spirit of collaboration,” says Chona.
And NHIMA Director-General, James Kapesa states that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) model was built on the commitment to facilitate access to quality healthcare for all Zambians.
As such, partnering with Airtel Money that has notable electronic payments and digital prowess will aid the authority in realizing its goal of “leaving no one behind.”
Kapesa notes that his organization is cognizant that its mandate cannot be achieved in isolation but will require the combined efforts of various
stakeholders to ensure that mobile money payment options are expanded for increased contributions into the National Health Insurance Fund.
Kapesa observes that the partnership was timely; just before the launch of the informal sector drive as a final push towards registering all eligible members and thus attain Universal Health Coverage.
“In this regard, Airtel is undoubtedly a valuable partner, considering its significant market share and penetration of mobile money services across the country. NHIMA is therefore pleased to welcome Airtel Money to our growing network of partners and encourages NHIS members on the Network to utilize the Airtel mobile money platform to make payments,” Kapesa states.
The National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) was established pursuant to Section 4 of the National Health Insurance Act No. 2 of 2018.
The purpose of the Act is to ensure that all Zambian citizens and established residents have equitable access to high quality essential health services, regardless of their socio-economic status.