The formal insurance medical survey of year 2022 has identified overcharging by medical service providers as the main obstacle hindering the development of the sector.
While launching this report, Hajji Ibrahim Kaddunabbi, the chief executive officer of the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), highlighted that abuse of the insurance policy by stakeholders impedes the development of the sector.
“The study focused on knowledge of medical insurance and providing solutions in accessing medical service providers. The survey determined that a majority of Ugandans are appreciating insurance packages to an average of 75%,” he noted.
He added that the survey indicates that some premiums are expensive, which scare away the would be pottential clients
The annual rise in the number of people seeking formal medical insurance has increased and the trend is expected to increase.
According to the study conducted across Kampala, Masaka, Mbarara, Fort Portal, Arua, Gulu, Mbale and Jinja, medical insurance written premiums increased from Shs107.6 billion in 2014 to Shs244.98 billion in 2021.
The study also indicates that majority of Ugandans have sufficient knowledge about medical insurance in regards what it covers at 92%, terms and conditions at 88%, claims procedure at 75% and complaints handling procedure at 61%.
Additionally, majority of the clients (97% of corporate companies and 92% of individuals) perceived medical insurance positively and as a very important service.
“Corporate clients mainly take medical insurance to cover health emergencies since it enhances staff well-being and improves the health of workers and their family members through access to quality healthcare,” the study indicates.
The study highlighted a number of challenges in the health insurance sector including over-charging for medical services by service providers.
In otherwards, hospitals charge highly for patients on insurance than those who pay cash and this tends to eat into the would be profits for the insurance companies.