ImpactAlpha, May 16 – Amsterdam- and Nairobi-based CarePay makes healthcare more affordable and accessible across the African continent by digitizing and streamlining healthcare payments.
Health insurance schemes in Africa struggle to reach low-income households, whether because they’re offered by private providers and are often unaffordable to poor families, or because they’re under-resourced public programs. In turn, people who need care often have no option but to pay out of pocket.
“The current health insurance model excludes huge parts of the African population as the administrative costs are too high, there is not enough data and outpatient costs cannot be controlled,” explained Max Coppoolse of Investment Funds for Health in Africa (IFHA).
IFHA, along with ELMA Investments and non-profit health access group PharmAccess, has backed CarePay’s €40 million ($44.8 million) funding round to support the expansion of its “health-wallet”, M-TIBA. M-TIBA links healthcare payers, providers and users to enable mobile payments for care services. Users can also deposit funds into their own wallets, or receive cash from friends and family.
CarePay launched M-TIBA in Kenya in 2016 in partnership with PharmAccess and telecom network Safaricom. It has since enrolled 4.5 million users and 1,200 healthcare providers in Kenya. It is expanding in Tanzania, where it supports 65,000 patients via five clinics, and Nigeria, where it is partnering with the states of Lagos and Kwara for their state-wide insurance roll outs.