COVID-19: Aella launches health insurance scheme, provides tele-medicine services to subscribers
Fintech Start-up, Aella has launched a health insurance scheme in partnership with Hygeia; a foremost HMO in Nigeria to support the Federal Government drives in boosting the country’s insurance scheme.
Chief Executive Officer of the company, Akin Jones, said who disclose this recently said, “We have a responsibility to our customers, employees and communities to build businesses that have a positive impact on daily life.
“We originally launched Aella as a micro-lending app, but we soon realised that 25 per cent of loans were being used to foot medical bills, second only to small business loans and other bill payments.”
Aella set out to reverse this negative trend by entering into a partnership with Hygeia, one of the HMO’s with the widest reach in the country, with nearly 2000 clinics, pharmacies and hospitals in its network. This formidable partnership aims to bring over 500,000 Nigerians under its health insurance coverage in the first year, protecting them from the rising costs of healthcare services in the country.
As of 2016, only three per cent of healthcare expenditure in Nigeria was paid for using Health Insurance. To bridge this gap, Aella is using a four-pronged approach which includes trust, access, pricing and education.
“We believe that the reason more Nigerians aren’t obtaining Health Insurance is due to these four factors. (i) Trust: Customers do not trust that there are no hidden obligations and that insurance policies would effectively cover all that they are promising. (ii) Access: Customers do not believe that the hospital networks reach remote areas easily accessible to them in times of need. (iii) Pricing: Customers believe that low-cost insurance schemes do not provide adequate coverage. (iv) Education: Customers are not well educated about the costs and benefits of insurance.”
Aella’s mission, therefore, is to tackle these head-on by ensuring that customers are aware of all charges associated with their chosen insurance plan and the differences between plans. Its partnership with Hygeia, Nigeria’s most trusted HMO will also allay the fears of many Nigerians regarding access and pricing.
The company will also constantly engage the public on its support of the government’s declared goal of Universal Health Coverage through the expansion of its health insurance and financial inclusion services.
In its first week of launching, the Aella Health Insurance plans recorded a large number of sign-ups via its mobile app, which further confirmed its drive to insure half a million Nigerians before the end of the year. The app provides users with a super-fast medium to ensure health, access loans and pay bills. Its monthly subscription and credit payment model allows millions of underbanked users access services that have hitherto been inaccessible to them. As a direct response to the ravaging COVID-19 crisis, Aella has committed to donating 2000 anti-microbial, Nano-coated copper masks and will also provide telemedicine services to its users in partnership with Hygeia.
Technology continues to change the world as we know it, at an unprecedented pace, impact and reach. Today, at the push of a button, low-income individuals can be included with nominal costs. This creates the opportunity to connect millions of people to better healthcare. Aella aims to build mobile infrastructure that empowers individuals to access and pay for healthcare services that were previously out of reach.
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