Under the deal, the bank and NHIF will partner with grass root cooperative societies in the region through an Integrated Health Cooperation Program (NHIF). Speaking during the launch of the scheme last week in Tabora Region, TPB Bank’s CEO, Sabasaba Moshingi said the current health care program start with farmers involved in cultivation of strategic crops such as cotton which is mostly grown in the Lake Zone Region.
"This health insurance coverage for farmers has started on a trial basis in the Lake Zone Region where cotton cultivation is practised and we are collaborating with the Igembensabo Cooperative Union in Igunga-Tabora," said Moshingi.
“This service will is readily available at all TPB Bank branches in the Lake Zone and NHIF offices for farmers to access,” he added stressing that the exercise will also involve Shinyanga Cooperative Union, Kahama Cooperative Union, Simiyu Cooperative Union and Nyanza Cooperative Union. The cooperative societies will sign a memorandum of understanding with TPB and NHIF through the office of the Registrar of Cooperatives in the country.
NHIF Director General, Bernard Konga said through the agreement, farmers will contribute 76,800/- while another 76,800/- for their spouses and children under 18 years will contribute 50,400/- per year.
"Deductions will be made when the farmer is paid for his produce through cooperative societies via bank accounts," said Konga adding that once the farmer and their family get a health insurance card, they will get treatment free of charge with doctors’ consultation fee, tests, drugs, minor and major surgeries free of charge.
Tabora Regional Commissioner who launched the scheme, Dr Philemon Sengati commended TPB Bank and NHIF managements for coming up with the innovative arrangement that targets farmers and their families.
"Farmers are a group that in one way or another was forgotten in access to health care in the country, this arrangement by TPB and NHIF has incorporated them. I would like to urge other government institutions to emulate TPB and NHIF enterprising approach,” Dr Sengati said.
TPB’s Branch Manager for Tabora Urban, Timon Massawe said apart from allowing farmers access to reliable health services, the deal also gives the bank room to expand its customer base by opening new accounts for insurance premium collections.
“This also enables the bank to extend services to the unbanked rural farmers as part of implementing government’s financial inclusion agenda,” Massawe said noting that the deal also contributes to wards rapid economic growth.