Let’s talk about something that might not be the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s necessary – medical insurance. As someone who’s been living in Rwanda for a while, I’ve had my fair share of frustrations with insurance providers. There was this one time in 2018 when I went to get something done, and they told me my insurance didn’t cover it. I mean, seriously? What did they cover then? And don’t even get me started on that classic line, “it’s above your limit, you will cover the rest from your pocket.”
Anyway, starting in 2022, all medical insurance providers in Rwanda had a 10% co-payment for outpatient services. Rumour has it this decision was made because insurance providers complained that people were abusing the system, and they weren’t making any profits. So, you’ll have to shell out 1000 FRW every time you go for a consultation. Fun times.
Anyway, choosing a medical insurance provider can be overwhelming because, let’s face it, they all seem pretty similar. None of them cover eye laser surgery (which I’ve been wanting to get for a while now), and none of them cover cosmetic surgery. So, how do you choose? Well, from my experience and what I’ve heard from others, these two insurance providers are the best for expats in Rwanda: Old Mutual (UAP), and Prime. If you have any more recommendations for us, do share in your comments.
OLD MUTUAL (UAP)
I’ve been using UAP for a while now, and I have to say, their process is pretty straightforward. I don’t have to fill out endless questionnaires for approval when I go to see a doctor, which is a plus. All they do is ask for my card, take my fingerprint, and I’m good to go. Except for that one time at Faisal where was an inpatient. But I don’t count that ‘cause it was over in a minute.
Their customer service is also pretty great. They helped me increase my limit from some stuff I didn’t need, so it could cover my full operation. I should mention that I use UAP through my employer, so your experience might be different if you’re an individual. It works in 13 countries in Africa and you can use it in Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan
I’ve never used Prime myself, but I’ve heard good things about them from people who do. They have less of an approval process, and apparently, their premiums are better than UAP’s. Plus, they’re the only insurance provider that still has full coverage on some services. They also facilitate treatment in East Africa, India, and Europe on referral or pre-authorization or reimbursement. Gee, I might actually switch to prime.