By Ugo Aliogo
A fintech start-up known as Aella, has expressed readiness to provide health insurance coverage for over 500,000 Nigerians in 2020 by making available a 30-day, N800, 000 worth of health care cover whenever they signed up on its Aella app.
A statement issued to THISDAY said the company recently launched Aella Care, a health insurance scheme in partnership with Hygeia.
The statement explained that the resolve to make it more attractive in order to get people on board was due to the large number of persons that signed up in their first pilot week.
The statement further noted the large number gave a moral boost that more Nigerians would sign up on Aella health insurance plan, if they are told of the benefits of protecting them from the rising costs of healthcare services.
The statement pointed out that paid customers and new users would have access to general consultation, pharmacy benefits, antenatal care/delivery services, accidents, and emergencies, dental care, surgeries, and more on them for free for 30 days.
The Chief Executive Officer, Akin Jones, stated that interested persons should download the Aella App; click on the insure your health tab; select a plan; look through your coverage and verify; upload a payment method (which can be canceled after the free trial is over) and access is open for one to enjoy the benefits.
Speaking further, Jones stressed that though Aella App was launched as a digital lending platform, the recurrent theme where 25 percent of the loans were being used to pay for medical expenses, “second only to small business loans and other bill payments opened up to them the situation in the health insurance system.”
He said app provides users with a super-fast medium to ensure their health, access loans, and pay bills.
He also disclosed that its monthly subscription and credit payment model allows millions of under banked users access services that have hitherto been inaccessible to them.
The statement said that in 2016, only three percent of healthcare expenditure in Nigeria was paid for using health insurance and to bridge this gap, “Aella is using a four-pronged approach which includes trust, access, pricing, and education.”
Jones said, “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.”
The statement maintained that Aella’s mission, therefore, is to tackle these head-ons by ensuring that customers are aware of all charges associated with their chosen insurance plan and the differences between plans.
The statement affirmed that its partnership with Hygeia, would also allay the fears of many Nigerians regarding access and pricing.
According to the statement: “The Company said it 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.
“Aella Care is a health insurance product that offers a comprehensive and accessible micro-health insurance service that overcomes obstacles that keep millions from accessing financial services. Obstacles such as geographical or regulatory inaccessibility, lack of access to banking institutions, confidence concerns or needs that existing financial products cannot solve.
“As part of its commitment to the fight against COVID19, it said it will be donating anti-microbial nano-coated copper masks to a randomly selected group of 2,000 users in partnership with Hygeia.”