Biometric claims processing by Malawi health insurance firm yields progress one year on

Biometric claims processing by Malawi health insurance firm yields progress one year on

MacDonald Wella, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WEMAS, a Malawian health insurance firm which uses biometrics to process insurance claims and share coverage data, says the company has recorded significant success after just about 15 months of its operations. WEMAS stands for the Wella Medical Aid Society.

Nyasa Times reports that since the company started offering its services in April 2020, not only has it introduced innovative health scheme packages, it has also entered into partnership with more than 150 hospitals and pharmacies across the Southern African nation.

Wella told the outlet they have been able to process hundreds of paperless claims using their biometric technology and that the response from Malawians has been impressive as their clientele continues to expand.

“We were the first insurance 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…,” Nyasa Times quoted Wella as saying.

He said after having successfully established its headquarters in Lilongwe and a branch office in Blantyre, WEMAS continues to find new ways of recruiting more clients given that many Malawians have a lukewarm attitude toward subscribing for medical insurance programs.

The WEMAS CEO told Nyasa Times that despite some of the difficulties they currently face, include a lack of trust from citizens, the company’s long-term plan is to build the reputation of a giant medical insurance company in Malawi in the next ten years.

The company says its packages include medical schemes for corporate bodies, pensioners, and for families. It also targets people over 55 years of age because most insurance schemes in the country do not cover this category of people, according to Nyasa Times.

WEMAS launched a biometric card system for its clientele early in the year, with the goal of facilitating access to insurance services for members.

How the biometric system works

An official of WEMAS contacted by Biometric Update said the biometric solution is provided by Smart Applications and is used to authenticate the identity of users for various transactions.

The system, he said, allows for the use of a fingerprint biometrics-enabled smart card designed to allow secure and fast patient authentication and verification when clients show up at service centers.

With the card, members can use their stored fingerprints to allow service providers view their membership benefits as well as for billing purposes and approvals.

The biometric technology is also used to facilitate the quick submission of claims to either hospitals or pharmacies for faster processing and payment. It also enhances transparency as members can easily monitor their benefits, the WEMAS official adds.

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