By Cecil Mensah
The Association of Private Health Insurers, the umbrella body of private health insurance providers in Ghana, has increased its annual premium from 50 percent to 60 percent, representing one thousand Ghana Cedis a year.
According to the Association, it took the decision to increase the premium, because of the escalating cost of running the various schemes managed by members of the Association.
The Association, said as per the new premium outpatients would now receive a claim of two thousand Cedis anytime they visit the hospital, and a whopping twenty-five thousand for inpatient beneficiaries.
Speaking at a maiden press conference in Accra, Dr Ronald Oppong Adom, president of the Association said, the increment was triggered by external and competitive environment in the private health insurance sector.
In view of this, the Association, has resolved to take steps in line with premium reviews and with a focused on utilization management protocols.
The Association, responsible for financing healthcare for about 200, 000 scheme holders said they deem it necessary to act together to protect the interest of quality and affordable healthcare, in spite of the prevailing economic trends in the country.
He said, the time has come for change in the perception towards healthcare because healthcare costs money.
He noted that analysis have shown that, claims cost against premium would not be sustainable for private health insurance providers if the premium are not increased.
“The increment is to enable us afford the current and escalating healthcare needs of subscribers across the country and to ensure sustainability of the scheme,’’ He added
He identified Malaria, pregnancy related attendances and Respiratory infections as the major drivers for the upsurge in the management of the various scheme by members.
He called for health promotion and education for insured members and the general public to reduce the incidence of Malaria and Upper Respiratory infections.
He said, by so doing, members would avoid the rampant utilization of their schemes and provide opportunity for members to renegotiate their premiums.
He explained the Association was committed to subscribers’ access to medical care at all times, hence the need to partner other service providers to achieve this feat.
He commended the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), the regulator for the recent reforms in the sector.