Ghanaians home and abroad are poised to reap healthcare insurance benefits from the nation’s estimated US$5billion remittance inflows, following a strategic partnership by MANJE HEALTH and SIC Life Insurance.
The agreement will see the former – a digital platform providing access to quality specialist healthcare across Africa – and SIC Life Insurance deliver private health insurance at more affordable and accessible rates, especially to persons in the informal sector.
Prudence Mafuta Persson, Co-founder of MANJE HEALTH – speaking after the initiative’s formalization, explained that the collaboration is expected to provide health insurance options to many Ghanaian families and individuals who could not previously afford it, thanks to the support of their relatives living abroad.
The strategic partnership will simplify the process of obtaining health insurance for Ghanaians abroad, and ensure that remittances directly contribute to their family members’ medical needs.
Expressing her enthusiasm for the pact’s potential as well as its importance in enhancing healthcare coverage, she said: “We are excited to work with SIC Life, our local insurance partner in Ghana, to provide health insurance coverage for over 4 million Ghanaians living in diaspora. Our partnership with SIC Life will involve rolling out various programmes and products designed to connect Ghanaians abroad with healthcare services in Ghana and secure their transactions”.Ghana holds a prominent position in the diaspora market, ranking fourth in Africa and second in sub-Saharan Africa. With over 4 million Ghanaians residing abroad and remittances exceeding an average of US$3billion, this partnership holds substantial potential.
Connecting the insurance industry in Ghana to the diaspora creates conditions for more efficient remittance utilisation, particularly in supporting healthcare access. According to Statista, in 2022 Ghana received personal remittances amounting to US$4.7billion, with slight growth from the previous year. The value is expected to reach US$5billion for 2023.
This comes as the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS) Round 6 data show that as remittance income goes up, household spending on healthcare also rises. For every GHȼ1 increase in remittance income, about GHȼ0.20 is used for healthcare as healthcare spending is more sensitive to changes in remittances – being about 3.5 times more responsive than to changes in non-remittance household income.
Ms. Persson pointed out that one of the key challenges with remittances is uncertainty of how funds are allocated, particularly for medical needs. MANJE HEALTH aims to provide a solution that connects Ghanaians with healthcare providers in Ghana, ensuring that funds sent from abroad directly contribute to the healthcare system.
Kwaku Appiah-Menka II, Managing Director-SIC Life Company Ltd., echoed his excitement about this innovative collaboration. “This is a very exciting time for us, because the 4 million Ghanaians in diaspora contribute US$3billion to the economy, and we aim to tap into this significant market. We are pleased to play a critical role in expanding financial and social inclusion for our nation.”
He also highlighted the importance of collaboration and innovation in achieving these goals. “We are working with various organisations, including MANJE Health, and have other discussions underway. We plan to design products specifically for this platform and market them aggressively, not only in Ghana but also beyond.”
The partnership between MANJE HEALTH and SIC Life Insurance Ltd. not only addresses the healthcare needs of Ghanaians in diaspora, but also has potential to boost the nation’s insurance industry and improve financial inclusion. As Ghana remains a top destination for remittances from abroad, this collaboration is set to make a significant impact by streamlining the process of supporting family members’ healthcare needs in the homeland, he added.
“With the innovative platform proposed by MANJE HEALTH and commitment of SIC Life Insurance Ltd., Ghanaians abroad can have an easier and more secure way to connect with healthcare providers in Ghana – ensuring that their hard-earned money directly contributes to the country’s healthcare system. This partnership sets a promising precedent for similar collaborations aimed at enhancing the lives and well-being of the Ghanaian diaspora and their loved ones at home,” Mr. Appiah-Menka II further remarked.
Ghana’s Ambassador to Denmark and Sweden, Sylvia Naa Adaawa Annoh, expressed optimism about the project’s potential, saying: “I see this as a challenge and an opportunity. Thank you so much for your trust and support. This is just the beginning of the journey, but I believe it will be successful and fruitful”.