Leading Health Insurer Aims to Widen Healthcare Access Across Africa

Leading Health Insurer Aims to Widen Healthcare Access Across Africa

Vitality Health International, a pioneering health insurance company aiming to foster healthier populations across Africa, announced a series of new offerings this week to broaden access to quality healthcare on the continent.

The company, which provides employer-sponsored health plans in seven African countries, unveiled benefits to reach more economic levels, an expanded provider network, a first-of-its-kind malaria diagnosis and treatment benefit, and emotional and financial assistance for grieving families.

“Our core purpose is making people healthier while enhancing and protecting their lives,” said Emma Knox, Vitality Health International’s chief executive for Africa, in an interview. “This latest suite of solutions reinforces that purpose.”

Reaching More Workers

A new entry-level “Start Plan” health insurance option targets lower-wage workforces often left out of employer coverage. “We now have holistic healthcare plans that provide world-class healthcare from entry level, through to executive employees,” Ms. Knox said.

Local currency pricing also aims to expand access. “Whether employees are looking for local cover defined in local currency or expatriates looking for international cover defined in U.S. dollars, we have got all employees covered,” according to Ms. Knox.

Widening the Provider Network

Vitality Health International has rapidly expanded its network of accredited hospitals, clinics and doctors over the past year. “We have built one of the broadest continental networks, ensuring members have access to health insurance all over Africa,” Ms. Knox stated.

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, members will be able to access Vitality’s extensive local, regional and international provider networks. “This makes it possible for our members to access healthcare wherever they are,” Ms. Knox explained.

Malaria Diagnosis Breakthrough

In a pioneering move, Vitality Health International will be the first insurer to offer a benefit focused on malaria, a devastating disease that claims nearly 500,000 lives in Africa each year.

The Vitality Malaria Benefit will provide employers with rapid diagnostic tests to make available to staff. “Members will now be able to self-test, getting their results within minutes,” Ms. Knox said. “This will help them seek out quicker diagnosis and get effective treatment sooner.”

The benefit aims to promote early detection and lower costs. “Expenses can then be reduced considerably, alleviating any financial burden for members,” according to Ms. Knox.

Support After Loss

Vitality Health International also unveiled Vitality Standby-U, which offers emotional, physical and financial assistance after the loss of a loved one.

The lump-sum payout and phone data bundle aim to cover funeral costs and arrangements. Counseling and wellness support is provided through a partnership with Healthy Company.

“Such support ensures costs are covered and emotional and physical care is provided,” Ms. Knox said. “This can be invaluable for our members.”

A Healthier Future

“We are confident these new offerings will amplify quality healthcare access across Africa,” Ms. Knox concluded.

Vitality Health International operates in Nigeria, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Tanzania. Its insurance model rewards healthy behaviors to “shift lifestyles and maintain and improve good health,” Ms. Knox said.

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