Innovator awarded for maternity insurance app
Barry Silah @obel_barry
For Anne Chege, 28, seeing challenges mothers and their families face during pregnancy was a wake-up call to find a solution.
Having worked in the insurance industry for a while, she realised people she came in contact were amongst the paltry three per cent with health coverage.
It hit her that the expensive nature of covers in healthcare was a deterrent for most would-be mothers. This is how the concept of MamaPrime was hatched.
The product is a Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)-enabled automated financial planning platform where pregnant mothers and their friends and family can make flexible piecemeal payments that go towards meeting the cost of their pre-natal, delivery, post-natal care and child wellness.
“I believe this solution has the ability to help mothers and families afford their own healthcare by spreading lump sum finance needs into piecemeal payments.
This reduces the strain on government facilities and gives the mother and family a wider array of hospitals to choose from,” says the development communication alumnus of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
MamaPrime is essentially a save-to-use plan rather than insurance plan. Mothers only get to use what they had saved on the platform.
“We, however, encourage mothers and families to save up more because unlike traditional insurance, their money does not ‘disappear’ if it is unused.
The mother can use the money for post-natal care or can have it refunded. Mothers and families can also get other people to contribute for their maternal journey,” she explains.
Anne adds that the platform has no cost implication for the end-user. It is entirely free.
They also do not pay higher amounts than they would have paid if they have been walk in insurance customers.
This makes the product affordable to all. “Enrolling into MamaPrime is easy and can be done anywhere.
Through using the *384*67# code, a mother is able to see all hospitals we have partnered with and choose one that suits their budget and preference.
Mothers can also get help with registration at the hospital reception desk,” she adds.
How the product is structured is totally different from insurance packages, but at the same time complementary to the covers run by many firms in the country.
This product has earned Anne and her team the chance to be among the 54 Women in Africa finalists, second runners up in DFS Lab 2019 challenge and most recently the Sanofi Health Innovations Challenge winner.
“Partnering with Sanofi, has also given us accessibility to market leaders and experts whose advice we are incorporating into our business.
As the partnership is a journey, we are now confident to say we have a strong credible teacher and force to help us grow our product throughout Kenya and spread our wings into different African countries,” she says.
Ending maternal mortality
The organisation targets to have 1,000 mothers on the platform, up from the current 564. “With 4,300 children being born in Kenya daily, we see a gap in the market that we can exploit albeit fairly priced,” she says.
For the young lady with passion for healthcare, MamaPrime is the ideal solution to prevent mothers dying while giving birth, especially in middle and low-income families with no insurance cover, and all other challenges closely associated with pregnancy.