Kenya- and Uganda-focused fintech 4G Capital Group (4G) has announced a partnership with ‘insurtech’ company Turaco, which operates in the same two countries, to provide affordable micro health insurance to 4G’s 104 000 customers in Kenya. Most of the fintech’s clients are informal sector traders, who are very vulnerable to unexpected financial demands, just one of which could put them out of business.
Medical, especially hospital, expenses are just such unexpected demands. Every five years 42% of Kenyan low-income households suffer a “catastrophic” financial blow as a result of hospitalisation. The country’s Ministry of Health has reported that nearly 13% of Kenyans lack the money to pay for medical assistance and more than 6% of households could be impoverished if faced with unforeseen health care costs.
The Kenyan government’s most recent Universal Health Care Social Assessment Report showed that 62% of Kenyans did not possess health insurance, while only 32% of the population was covered by the National Hospital Insurance Fund. Just 3% of Kenyans had private health insurance.
“Our mission is to free people from the fear of financial shocks, which is all the more relevant during this Covid-19 pandemic,” affirmed Turaco co-founder and CEO Ted Pantone. “Working with 4G Capital presents a great opportunity to get more people insured with a partner that is aligned with our vision. Although many things in life are uncertain, the ability to access and afford healthcare should not be one of them.”
The insurance policy being offered to 4G’s clients covers people who are hospitalised for three or more days, or who die. The cost of a 12-month package starts at 1 000 Kenyan shillings (just over R171) a year and clients can claim using their phones or WhatsApp, with the cash being sent to their mobile money wallets in only 72 hours. The policies are underwritten by Prudential Life Assurance Kenya.
“We are delighted to partner with Turaco to bring this most urgent health insurance to our clients in their hour of greatest need,” highlighted 4G founder and CEO Wayne Hennessy-Barrett. “Informal market traders are the spark needed for national economic recovery. 4G Capital provides the fuel, and now with Turaco we can support the health and wellbeing of our incredible and inspiring clients.”