Adventist laymen pioneer self insurance fund

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The Adventist Laymen Services and Industries have pioneered a self insurance fund, the ASI Life &
Health Fund, aimed at meeting the financial needs of its congregants. The fund, which is registered
under the Insurance Act of Zimbabwe as a Friendly Society will provide funeral, education and primary
health insurance cover. It will be administered by Comarton Consultants (Private Limited, a registered
fund administrator.
“We are in the final stage of delivering a total financial services package to our members in the
Seventh Day Adventist Church. The product was consumated after a long consultative process with
key stakeholders and wide cross section of technical partners,” said ASI chairman Edson Goniwa
speaking at the unveiling of the product at Solusi University in Bulawayo last week.

On e of the technical partners present at the unveiling of the Fund, Senior Actuarial specialist at
Comarton Tawanda Chituku said the fund had been set up after realisation that there was need to
maximise value for money spent on insurance.

“On the health side you find that the main focus is on curing diseases and not enough focus is placed
on preventative healthcare. The health care space is fragmented and this leads to inefficiencies and
high cost burdens but we want to make sure that space is well co­ordinated.

“You find that 95 percent of all healthcare problems are primary. This healthcare product seeks to
reduce the number of cases that graduate to sickness leading to loss of productive time and
resources.”

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare reports, a significant amount of medical aid
premiums go towards administration while proportionately lower percentages are committed towards
curative purposes and the remainder going towards hospitalisation and medication.

Mr Chituku said Comarton Consultants through its actuarial arm had developed a co­ordinated
healthcare concept where the full service cycle can be accessed through Rapha Healthcare Systems.
They have also developed the appropriate IT platform including mobile application on which the
service will be managed through Comasoft Solutions, another Comarton Group subsidiary.

“The healthcare service benefits will be arranged on a capitation basis where we will pay a fixed
amount to a health care service provider.”

Mr Chituku also added that the health care product design pays special attention to the health
outcomes of members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and rewards service providers for quality healthcare services.

The health product covers primary health care which includes, preventative care, GP consultations and
reviews, provision of first line drugs, mini­procedures such as suturing, family planning counselling and
basic family planning activities.

The Education Cover will take care of orphans and widows/widowers after the death of the family
provider. The product pays various combinations of school fees benefits to the surviving children until
the child turns 23. Under the Education Cover there is an option to include other benefits such as
savings/medical/upkeep in addition to the school fees benefit. To secure the benefit, the member will
pay monthly premiums that are available from the administrators.

Mr Chituku said the funeral product seeks to provide burial services in the Seventh Day Adventist
church where pastors will work as chaplains in conjunction with reputable funeral services providers in
order to spread the message.

“To secure the benefit, a member will pay a monthly premiums specified in the product T&Cs. When
the insured member dies, the product pays a pre­selected funeral benefit amount. These benefits start
from $500 up to $5 000 in bands of $500.”

The fund will be administered by a board of Trustees, six of whom were chosen from ASI, one from
the Zimbabwe Union Congress of the SDA church and two independent trustees. The Trustees will be
supported by various technical partners and an independent sub­committee.

Stewardship director for Zimbabwe Union Conference Pastor Fairchild Mhlophe said the products were
a welcome development in meeting the church’s development agenda.

“I once led a department where such issues were addressed. If all our church members will learn to
work together and pull their resources together and then target certain needy areas I think we can
accomplish much more. “What is about to be introduced is not a theory, but is something that can
assist this congregation,” said Pastor Mhlophe.

SDA has 235 pastors in Zimbabwe, more than 100 schools , a number of clinics,one referral hospital
and Solusi University.

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