KENYA – AAR Insurance, a medical insurance in East Africa has launched a service that enables customers to manage medical expenses using their mobile phones reports CIO East Africa.

The move comes as health insurers grapple with low uptake and rising cases of fraud and as the industry increasingly turns to technology as a distribution channel.

The Platform is dubbed M-TIBA and is developed and managed by CarePay. It allows clients to access their medical benefits via their mobile phones, thus ensuring convenience and helps curb fraud by creating transparency of medical expenses for the client, insurer and provider. It also gives clients control of their benefits while accessing treatment.

Speaking at the launch, AAR Insurance Kenya Managing Director, Nixon Shigoli, said; “Our clients do not have to walk around with medical cards as they can now use their phones to access treatment services at health facilities. Besides convenience, we are empowering our customers to manage claims by tracking how much they have spent at the health facility.”

To activate the service, one dials a USSD code *253# and inputs their PIN. They then follow the prompts to access services and authorize the health care provider to give the service. Once the service is provided, the client receives an SMS alert on their phone with details of amount they or their dependents have utilized and the cover balance. They can also access mini statements.

Being a mobile-based service, the new platform is accessible anywhere, provided one is covered by AAR and has a phone. This eliminates situations where one cannot access medical services because the card is either lost or damaged.

Mr. Shigoli adds that the mobile platform will help reduce administration costs by minimizing paperwork and back office operations. He emphasizes the new service will significantly tame fraudulent claims and inflated bills since the patient is able to track treatment costs. Fraud has in the past been blamed for escalating medical claims which consequently hurt insurers’ margins and push up premiums.

Moses Kuria, Managing Director CarePay Kenya, says, “We’re helping AAR Insurance give everyone the power to care through the M-TIBA platform. AAR clients will be able to pay for and manage their insurance policy using their mobile phones. The platform will also provide real-time integrated data exchange between the policy holder, AAR and the healthcare facility – enabling fast and accurate settlement of claims.”

AAR Insurance Kenya recently unveiled a new medical cover that has no sub-limits on chronic or pre-existing conditions.