Expenses incurred under Covid-19 will now be covered by medical insurance following an agreement by insurance companies to lift their pandemic exclusion.
“… insurance players have unanimously agreed to support government efforts in preventing the spread of Covid-19 by making an exemption to the standard policy terms & conditions (pandemic exclusion) and admitting valid claims for medical expenses for the treatment of insured patients infected with Covid-19,” a statement by Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) yesterday, said yesterday.
The cover will include costs such as testing, treatment and care at the government designated facilities.
The announcement is timely since government recently said it could not test everyone because of limited resources.
For instance, government indicated it would need at $65 (Shs245,608) to test a per person.
Transfer of medical costs to insurance companies could reduce the financial burden incurred by government, allowing it to divert resources to other matters.
However, the move is virgin territory for insurance companies, who normally do not cover pandemics.
While other insurance companies are just coming on board, Prudential had earlier announced it would cater for expenses of its clients with the exception of medical treatment.
Mr Deepak Pandey, the Jubilee Insurance chief executive officer, yesterday said the move had been informed by the need to support government in fighting Covid-19, noting the cover will be applicable to current medical insurance customers at no extra cost.
The decision on whether to increase premiums paid when Covid-19 is covered, he said, will depend on individual insurance companies.
“As the insurance industry we have not been able to assess the risk so for future customers, it will depend on the individual insurance company. If the company thinks that there is a high risk potential by providing additional cover for Covid-19, which was unforeseen, they may decide to increase premiums,” he said.