AAR Insurance has launched a service that enables customers to manage medical expenses using their mobile phones.

The new service replaces a smart card clients have been using to access treatment at health facilities.

The move comes as health insurers grapple with low uptake and rising cases of fraud and as the industry increasingly turns to technology as a distribution channel.

AAR managing director Nixon Shigoli said the mobile platform, M-Tiba, developed and managed by CarePay, allows clients to access their medical benefits via mobile phones.

The new platform will also help curb fraud by creating transparency of medical expenses for the client, insurer and provider. It also gives clients control of their benefits.

“Our clients do not have to walk around with medical cards as they can now use their phones to access treatment services at health facilities. Besides convenience, we are empowering our customers to manage claims by tracking how much they have spent at the health facility,” Shigoli said.

To activate the service, one dials a USSD code *253# and inputs their PIN. They then follow the prompts to access services and authorize the health care provider to give the service.

Once the service is provided, the client receives an SMS alert on their phone with details of amount they or their dependents have utilized and the cover balance. They can also access statements.

Being a mobile-based service the new platform is accessible anywhere, provided one is covered by AAR and has a phone. This eliminates situations where one cannot access medical services because the card is either lost or damaged. There will also be no waiting period for card processing.

Shigoli said the mobile platform will help reduce administration costs by minimizing paperwork and back office operations.

“The new service enhances efficiency in service delivery and reduces the risk of collusion by unscrupulous parties to inflate claims or bill for services not provided.”

Moses Kuria, managing director CarePay Kenya, said, “We’re helping AAR Insurance give everyone the power to care through the M-Tiba platform. AAR clients will be able to pay for and manage their insurance policy using their mobile phones.”