Health issues affect all, but often they are associated with elders. Almost in all insurance policies that cover health matters, focus is given to adults who would in turn include their offspring.
In situations where the parents do not have the financial means to obtain policies then the children are disadvantaged. At the realisation of this gap, a young entrepreneur, Kabo Letlhare-Wastikc, founded a tertiary student insurance policy – Etudiant Medical Aid after he graduated from the University of Botswana.
“The medical aid started in 2010. It is the only one targeting the students’ population, of ages from 18 to 24 years. Though there might be those older or younger than this age bracket, the majority falls in there. The premium is P99 per month,” said Letlhare-Wastikc, adding that their products cover optical, dental and general practitioner’s services.
“For optical services our clients get spectacles twice in four years. Dental services cover cleaning of teeth, extraction and filling. We have limited services for general medical services as we cover only two visits per month; accompanied by medication. This excludes surgery services.
“We have since our establishment managed to assist over 1 500 optical clients. We also aid with maternity – pre-natal and post-natal care,” he said. Furthermore, there is P5 000 funeral cover.
He highlighted that they have doctors in Gaborone, Francistown and Maun where students are congested.
Letlhare-Wastikc, who now co-owns the company with his wife, Kitso Letlhare-Wastikc said following queries by students on what happens to their funds if they do not get to use services until their schooling period lapses, their company introduced another product – the 80 percent cashback in May 2016.
He explained that it turned out after it was introduced that it greatly helped the graduates deal with the dry spell between graduation and the time when they get their first employment if they get employed at all. It even provides some start-up cash for small businesses.
Through this cashback, students are encouraged to pay their premiums without skipping.
Among the challenges faced by Etudiant Medical Aid are payment defaulters and lack of awareness on health insurance issue. They sometimes come seeking services that are not part of their package or contractual agreement.