, NAIROBI, Kenya May 19 – Rising cases of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) have seen a surge in medical claims in the Kenyan market.
AAR Insurance Managing Director Caroline Munene says medical claims have been going up by 20 percent every year with an expected further rise in coming years.
Munene says insurance companies paid a total of Sh20 billion to settle medical claims in 2014 with AAR paying over Sh2 billion in such outpatient claims last year.
“This is 20 percent higher than what the industry paid in 2013 and has seen medical insurance covers become expensive in the market,” she added.
She says about 45 percent of the medical claims are as a result of NCDs pointing out that the diseases account for 27 percent of deaths in Kenya annually.
She says there is need for Kenyans to take control of their health as a critical step in reducing the financial burden attributable to increased cases of NCDs.
“Medical claims linked to NCDs are expected to rise in coming years unless decisive action is taken to encourage Kenyans to proactively manage their health, “she said.
Munene was speaking during the launch of AAR Proactiv, a product that will see policyholders receive over 50 percent of total premium paid after three years if they do not utilise the entire cover, a first of its kind in the insurance market in the region.
“Only 30 percent of clients utilize the entire cover, what can’t we return to them what they haven’t used? The new product also comes with other benefits such as enabling the client to make decisions on which health facilities to visit as well as empowering individuals to evaluate the necessity of hospital visits allowing them to reduce their health expenditure,” she explained.
The company also plans to roll out a wellness campaign that will include checkups and nutritional talks. The firm will also partner with fitness centres where AAR clients can access at attractive rates to encourage them exercise regularly.
The main risk factors of NCDs include exposure to tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and excess consumption of alcohol.