20 June 2018

Rwanda: Mutuelle Subscribers Urged to Use Irembo Amid System Breakdown

There have been complaints by some people that they have been having trouble with the new online payment system for community health insurance, Mutuelle de Santé.

As the June 30 deadline looms on the insurance premiums for 2017/18 fiscal year, some fear they may not be covered for next year, at least for the earlier part of it.

Clarisse Yandereye from Matyazo Sector in Ngororero District said she belongs in the third category of Ubudehe where she has to pay Rfw3000 for every member of her family.

She has spent over a week trying to pay her family's contribution through the local SACCO but the system is always down.

"I still have the money with me, but my neighbours have started to spend it and when the system comes back on line, we are not sure we will still have the money," she said.

Ernestine Mbananayo from Murambi sector in Karongi said local leaders should think of an alternative way to help people pay their contribution on time.

"Community health workers can receive all the contributions at village level and write down those who paid and deal with new payment system and then distribute the pay slips to the residents," she suggested.

Etienne Habiyambere, the Executive Secretary of Matyazo Sector said people should approach local leaders in case of such complications to find some help. But he was worried they might not meet the coverage target.

Claver Nzahumunyurwa in Charge of Mobilisation unit for community health insurance at Rwanda Social Security Bureau (RSSB) said there are many ways to pay their contributions without going to SACCOs.

They can use MobiCash which has agents in all SACCOs in the country, or private agents located especially in commercial centers, he said.

There is also IREMBO system, which also has agents in all sectors headquarters and private ones operating around the country or via their own phones by dialing *909# and following instructions.

"It only requires having money on Mobile Money, Tigo Cash or on Airtel Money. People can use all these approaches to subscribe for next year's scheme instead of only going to SACCOs which they say is the problem," he said.

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