On Friday November 9th, a group of 40 insurance experts from 20 different countries came to the Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU) to first-hand experience the KNCU Health Plan in practice. The group all participated in the 8th International Microinsurance Conference held in Dar es Salaam between 6-8 November. Among the participants of the field trip were representatives from international companies and organizations, such as Munich Re, GIZ, the International Labor Organization (ILO), Milliman and the Dhan Foundation.
The group came to the KNCU Health Plan to learn how this health insurance program works in practice. KNCU is Africa’s oldest cooperative and represents over 150,000 small scale coffee farmers organized in 92 Primary Societies. The KNCU Health Plan has been introduced in 2011 to improve the health situation of the farmers, for whom good health is essential for their economic productivity. By paying a small premium upfront the KNCU Health Plan provides affordable access to quality health care in renovated facilities for the KNCU members and their families and protects them against health related risks. Over 7000 farmers and their families have already enrolled. The program has been developed by KNCU, the insurance intermediary MicroEnsure and PharmAccess and is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It has already started for 12 Primary Societies. The aim in the coming years is to include all 92 Primary Societies, potentially targeting 150,000 people.
During the fieldtrip the group visited the KNCU Head Office, one of the participating Primary Societies, several households and two renovated health facilities. It was the set up in such a way that the whole economic process was captured, from the collection of coffee beans in the field, to the eventual auction at KNCU, as well as the process of the health plan: from first registration and sensitization, to treatment and the claim handling.
The visitors experienced the many innovative solutions that were introduced to inform and educate the people on the health plan and to manage the registration and sales. During the visit to several households, the sales representatives of MicroEnsure gave a demonstration on how they go from door-to-door armed with i-Pods for registration, computer tablets for an interactive educational program, brochures and posters to inform the farmers on the benefits of health insurance and help them with registration.
The visiting group got a good understanding of the quality of care that is provided in the health facilities. Each facility in the program is enrolled in a step-by-step internationally recognized quality improvement program called SafeCare. The doctor in charge showed what improvements have been realized as part of the health plan. The facility is clean now and standard operating procedures and better equipment are in place. The clinic had a new lab for better diagnostics and even in-patient wards.