What is Medical Insurance?
Insuring your home or car is a no-brainer, but some people aren’t sure why health insurance can be a good idea. We get it; when you are sick, you want treatment, not drama. This makes the choice of a health insurance carrier an important decision because it may have a significant influence on the quality of care you receive. If you are currently shopping for a medical cover, or you just want a feel of what is out there, then here are some things that you will do well to bear in mind.
Health insurance, also known as private medical insurance, is designed to ensure that if you need medical treatment in future, you won’t need to worry about NHS waiting lists or paying for the cost of the treatment. If you’re treated privately, health insurance will pay all or some of your bills. It should get you diagnosed and treated quickly, as well as offer you a prompt referral to a consultant and admission to a private hospital at a time and place that is convenient for you.
With health insurance, you’ll have a choice of the private hospital from an agreed list provided by your insurer – most hospitals offer a private en-suite room, TV and a choice of food, which you wouldn’t necessarily get as a normal patient. Is there any good argument against the fact that your health is your single most important asset in this life? Good health is such a foundational matter in life without good health, it becomes difficult to achieve an important goal.
This simple, yet profound fact is the driving force behind an ever-growing health insurance sector not just in Kenya, but the entire world in general. So, what are the most significant reasons why you need to consider health insurance for yourself, your family, and your dependents?
Health is irreplaceable
Unlike the vast majority of things in life, health is one of the truly irreplaceable aspects. A lot of attention is currently dedicated to encouraging healthy life habits because doctors have known that it’s better to keep in good health rather than to try to fix it once broken. Some of the key sources of threats to our health include hereditary illnesses, communicable diseases, and lifestyle diseases. In addition to these threats, there is also always the risk of accidents occurring, accidents that may have short or long-term implications for our health. In all these cases, a good health insurance policy can be the help we need should our health start failing.
The number of people taking up health insurance in Kenya has been on the rise. Two key trends are responsible for this. First, more companies are bundling health insurance as one of the benefits they give to their employees. This is in effect increasing the number of Kenyans with a health insurance cover. The second trend is the emergence of low-cost health insurance policies that offer basic cover for policyholders. The low-cost covers are in line with the hugely influential role SMEs are playing in the Kenyan market. As such, the cost of medical insurance is affordable because there is always a policy that can meet the health needs of any person in the country.
On a different note, the affordability of health insurance in Kenya should be evaluated against the value of one’s health. It turns out that what may seem expensive at first, is actually an affordable component of the health insurance.
Finally, you need to have a health insurance plan for the reason that accidents happen, and accidents can have detrimental effects on your health. As already discussed above, germs and genetics are not the only threats to our health. A freak accident can also lead to loss of health. In some cases, managing your injuries after an accident can be a very expensive affair. A good insurance policy will help you to get back on your feet as you work to get back to good health.
It earns you a tax relief
The Kenyan tax procedures assure you of a tax relief of 15% on the premiums you’ve paid per annum. This goes to bring down the cost of medical insurance by that much. If you spend Kshs 50,000 on premiums for a health insurance policy in one year, then you will get a tax relief of Kshs 7500.
Pro Secrets of choosing the Health Insurance
Reputation does Matter
It is critical to determine the reputation of your preferred health services provider before making commitments. If you can, ask hospitals and clinics what sort of relationship they have with the medical insurer, and find out whether the relations are smooth. Talk to your friends too, and other referrals to get their views on the services provided by that medical services provider. The market reputation of a provider is an indication of how well the company provides services to its members and is usually a good point of reference when making decisions regarding healthcare insurance.
Consider the Reach of the Health Insurance Carrier
Depending on your lifestyle, it may be important to consider the geographical reach of your carrier. The main points to consider include the following. First, does the health insurance provider have a network of partner hospitals that cover all your main areas of operation? The point here is to ensure that you will have access to a hospital from any of your areas of operation. The second point to consider is whether the health insurance carrier allows you to use the hospitals of your choice. For instance, if you look at the Linda Jamii product from Britam, you will discover that the list of hospitals that participate in it do not include the major private hospitals in Nairobi, ostensibly to keep the costs of healthcare affordable both for the insurer and the insured. Other health insurance companies may insist on copayment plans if you visit the major private hospitals, or if you want to see a doctor outside of their primary network. Consider all these factors as you buy your medical insurance.
ALWAYS compare Costs and Services
Consider the costs of premiums, in the context of the size of cover available for your use. A cheap medical insurance cover does not always mean that it is a better deal. A company may give you an inferior cover at a low cost, which fails to meet your needs. On the other hand, a high-cost cover is also not the same as a high-quality cover. Examine the cover to ensure that you are getting the most value for your money. One of the best ways of doing this is to fill in our online medical insurance quote form to compare medical insurance quotes from different providers.
One of the most frustrating situations you can find yourself in is not being able to access your medical insurance provider when you need advice or have an inquiry, especially during emergencies. Before you get into a scheme, call the company to find out how helpful they are when you have an inquiry. You can also experiment with sending an email or an SMS to see which medium attracts the quickest and the most comprehensive response. Check out their website to see whether you can find the list of hospitals in their network, then call some of those hospitals to confirm that they actually have a relationship with this potential insurer. This is especially important if you would like to access services from specific hospitals listed in the company’s role. Some companies may not update the publicly available information when their relationships change, and you can buy into a cover thinking your preferred hospitals are in the network, only to discover that they are not represented. Do your research well to ensure that you get the best medical insurance cover possible on your current budget. Continue Reading!
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