Covid-19 and its effects have had adverse effects on households and businesses worldwide. In Kenya, the cooperative movement has experienced the pressure arising from the effects of the disèase evidenced by a reduction in business activities due to government restrictions, as well as job losses in cooperative entities extending to the supply chain.
In spite of the challenges faced during this period, cooperatives in Kenya have remained resilient with SASRA 2020 annual report showing that total assets for deposit taking Saccos grew by 12.75% to reach Ksh627.68 billion from Ksh556.71 billion in 2019.
As a leading insurer in the African market, one of the major lessons that stood out is the need for quality healthcare for people who have attained the retirement age. The average age for retirement in Kenya is between 60-65 years. Healthcare remains an integral part of life especially as one advances towards their golden years. As such, it is critical for every individual, whether an entrepreneur or employed, to start planning for medical care after retirement.
According to the National Census conducted in 2019, the number of older persons in the country had reached about 2.7 million, representing about 6% percent of the total population.
The Kenyan constitution recognizes the rights of older person in our society. In article 57, the constitution dictates that the government will take measures to ensure rights of older persons are recognized and fully participate in the affairs of the society, pursue personal development, live in dignity and respect and be free from abusé as well as receive reasonable care and assistance from their families and state. This section values the contribution of the senior citizens in our society.
Post retirement planning
The quality of life after retirement is dependent on various factors. At the core is saving for retirement to guarantee financial freedom. While an individual may not have the daily, monthly, or yearly income, they will still need to take care of their expenses, which may include food, housing, healthcare and entertainment among others.
Most of the individuals do not plan or start saving well in advance and this makes them vulnerable to life challenges.
Planning for medical care
As Africans, we are socially interconnected. Owing to our upbringing and as part of our cultural norms and values, we have become accustomed to being a support system to our families and friends. Medical bills are often an expensive affair especially as one ages with the common practice being reaching out to family and friends to raise money towards clearing the bills. In certain instances, the medical expenses are for services offered outside the country.
Recognizing this need, CIC Group has developed a product to take care of this special class of individuals in our society. The company launched a Seniors Mediplan cover targeting senior citizens from the age of 60 years. While the joining age is capped at 80 years, the insured will remain on cover for life guaranteeing medical protection to senior citizens after retirement.
The product offers in-patient, outpatient, dental, optical, overseas treatment, and within East Africa the benefit of ambulance and air evácuation. Also included is coverage for pre-existing and chronic conditions as well as a Covid-19 cover. The product will also be offering a last expense cover if the insured person passes on while the cover is in force.
Children who form part of the dependents of the insured are not eligible but customers have access to an alternative cover under CIC Family Medisure. Life savings can then be channelled to other income generating activities after retirement, empowering people to live a better life.