Friday, September 16, 2011

Mutual Health Insurance

My village Mibirizi has a hospital and health center that serves as a healthcare hub for the surrounding villages. Recently, the village held a meeting about our area’s health insurance program. Since health insurance is a contentious topic in the United States, I thought I’d relate how Rwanda’s health insurance works.

Encouraging the creation of mutual health insurance programs is an initiative under Vision 2020—the Rwandan government’s detailed plan to become a middle income country by the year 2020. Mutual health insurance programs, while encouraged by national government initiatives, are managed locally to serve small areas.

Per these programs, people contribute an amount of money determined by the community, which subsidizes their healthcare costs if they become sick. In past years, contribution and participation in this program used to be voluntary, but recently it has become mandatory. The reason for this change is that in the days of voluntary participation, only people who knew they were sick would sign up for the program. Because of this, the cost of providing healthcare to the insured was more than the programs could afford.

Some people complain that because of such government programs, their earnings are swallowed up in various taxes and mandatory contributions. Others say that most people don't have the money to pay for treatment should they become suddenly ill, so health insurance is necessary.


  1. I agree that health insurance is really necessary to manage all the health related expenses. Different people have different opinion about this insurance scheme. But it is advisable to make this policy and online is the best way to find an affordable plan.
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