Capital Markets

CarePay loans to private healthcare firms hit Sh2bn



Health payments provider CarePay lent out Sh2 billion to private healthcare facilities last year, largely to fund acquisition of essential equipment and expansion.

The loan facility, under CarePay’s medical credit fund (MCF) in partnership with PharmAccess Group, saw disbursements go up from about Sh50 million a month by the third quarter in 2020 to more than Sh400 million a month in the fourth quarter.

“We used our data on medical care expenses made via our platform, M-tiba, to create a financial history that enables the participating private hospitals to qualify for the loans based on a repay-per-use basis,” CarePay chief executive Moses Kuria said.

The beneficiaries used the loans to set up pharmacies and an online prescription platform as well as enhance their ability to offer primary healthcare, where patients pay via the M-tiba cashless wallet which was developed by CarePay, PharmAccess and Safaricom.

The disbursement of loans, he said, saw participating facilities rise to 3,100 as at December 31, 2020 compared to 2,500 facilities registered in 2019.

The M-tiba platform is currently being used by the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), Britam and AAR insurance companies where payments made at participating hospitals are sanctioned by customers who review each claim before releasing payments and a real-time report made to their underwriter or employer.

Mr Kuria spoke when the released results of a nationwide survey the firm commissioned on effect of Covid-19 pandemic on Kenyans’ spending.

The survey revealed an appetite for healthcare micro-insurance products that ride on mobile phones technology where spending on medical care is cashless and affordable.