By Yerima Kini Nsom
One of the country’s leading insurance companies, Atlantique Assurance Cameroun, and the National Insurance Fund known by its French acronym as CNPS, have pledged to provide quality health insurance coverage to pensioners and insured volunteers that are mostly from the informal sector.
The pledge is the main substance of a partnership agreement both parties signed in Yaounde on November 18. The Director General of the Atlantique Assurances Cameroun, Ngniwake Norbert, sealed the deal on behalf of his outfit while the Director of the National Social Insurance Fund, CNPS, Noёl Alain Olivier Mekulu Mvondo Akame, signed on behalf of his organisation. Within the context of this partnership, both parties have agreed on the technical and commercial terms that will govern the implementation of the social initiative.
The signing ceremony that was attended by representatives of the informal sector took place at the CNPS Head Office in Yaounde. The product, dubbed AsurTous Santé (healthcare insurance for all), targets insured volunteers, especially those of the informal sector who usually do not have enough resources to access quality healthcare. Going by the provisions of the health insurance coverage, beneficiaries will receive up to 400,000 FCFA of care for a premium of 100 FCFA per day; 2,500 FCFA per month or 30,000 per year and in addition, childbirth care is provided at up to 100,000 FCFA.
According to the Director General of the Atlantique Assurances Cameroun, Ngniwake Norbert, AsurTous Santé concerns people in the informal sector like bike rider, traders, hair dressers, mechanics and even some employees who are not mostly covered by their companies. He took exception to those who erroneously believe that healthcare insurance is only for high-profiled people, especially those working in big companies. He said his company conceived this special healthcare insurance to enabled people of the informal sector to have access to quality healthcare by contributing very minimal amounts of money.
Commenting on this product, he said his company has a network that covers the entire territory which relies on its digital function to guarantee quality medical care everywhere in the country. As of last October, Atlantique Assurances had already agreed with 320 hospital facilities and 165 pharmacies to ensure that the beneficiaries of this special health care insurance have easy access to health services nationwide.
Speaking to the press, the Director of NSIF, Noёl Alain Olivier Mekulu Mvondo Akame, said the partnership agreement aims to improve on the healthcare given to some small workers that do not have the opportunity to be insured by the company they work for.
“It is a laudable initiative that has come to better the health condition of many who do not have a health insurance coverage neither for them nor for families. As such I encourage them to rush and get registered for the insurance and begin to pay in the necessary dues as this will help them and their families to gain access to healthcare at little or no cost,” Mekulu Mvondo Akame advised.The voluntarily insured and pensioners, added, will automatically benefit from the Atlantique Assurances product.
The President of the Association of Buyam Sellams, Marie Mbala Biloa, lauded the initiative, saying it is coming to compliment the voluntary affiliation insurance initiated by CNPS. “At the beginning pensioners had problems to receive their dues but today, with the putting in place of digitalization I can be at home and get registered online. It is this innovation that has continued with the partnership with Atlantique Assurances.
“The petit traders face problems day in day out. They leave their houses without a francs to eat from Monday to Sunday in search of little money to feed the families. When they fall sick they don’t even have a penny to buy drugs…people will tell you to get to the pharmacy to get drug, this is easy to say but the issue here is at what cost,” she lamented.