A local medical insurance company, Wella Medical Aid Society (Wemas) has become a first medical insurance company in Malawi to introduce biometric technology which has helped the firm to run paperless claims system in Malawi since its incorporation last year.
Wemas was incorporated on March 20, 2020 and started operations on 1st April 2020 hence it has operated for exactly one year and three months.
The company’s chief executive officer Mcdonald Wella said in an interview in Lilongwe with Nation Online that for the past one year, the company has also introduced a myriad of innovative products which are unmatched on the Malawi market, adding that it has already entered into contracts with over 150 hospitals and pharmacies across Malawi.
“We were the first medical scheme to go biometric in Malawi and so far we are the only medical scheme using the biometric technology. The technology has helped us to run a paperless claims system for the first time in Malawi,” said Wella.
He added: “We are also the only medical scheme which gives cashbacks to our customers as a way of thanking them for their patronage. We have shown a lot of innovation and creativity in our products and services.”
Wella said so far the company has managed to fully establish its head office in Lilongwe and a branch office in Blantyre, stressing that its membership continues to increase s “to remarkable levels on a daily basis and we are overwhelmed with the response that we have received so far.”
He said the company discovered that there is a huge uninsured gap in medical insurance and that their ultimate goal is to fill such a glaring gap.
Wella lamented that in Malawi people are not eager to take medical insurance and that their company is currently finding more innovative ways of getting everybody insured.
Quizzed on their future plans, he said Wemas intends to emerge a giant medical aid insurance company in Malawi in the next three years near future that is recognizable brand on the medical insurance market, adding that the company’s ten-year vision is to be the number one medical scheme in Malawi by the year 2030.
Commenting on business challenges, he said the company started its operations at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic which he said slowed down its progress from the very start.
“But as any new business on the market, the major challenge is the low levels of trust. However, we are seeing levels of trust increasing as more and more people come to register and start experiencing our medical schemes,” he said.
Some of its insurance packages so far include corporate medical scheme which is designed to provide quality healthcare to companies; pensioners medical scheme which was developed to take care of the health care needs of old people as well as family scheme which covers health care to families at an affordable monthly premium.
In Malawi, most medical aid schemes do not cover people above 55 years and according to Wella, such a situation brings in a problem of access to healthcare for such a group of people who need care more than any other age group.