One of the most unpredictable predicaments that can befall an individual or a family is ill health – accidents, hospital admissions and the subsequent costs that come with these. Medical expenses have been known to wipe out family fortunes from millions to zero in a matter of months or even weeks as people battle to bring their loved ones back to health. It is also very unfortunate but very true that thousands have lost lives due to lack of funds.

Just about every Kenyan you speak to has had to raise funds or knows someone who has had to raise funds for medical expenses. As much as we’re a people who thrive on togetherness, this is a sad scenario and equally sad is the fact that lately, diseases attributable to factors within and without our power are on the rise. Whatever quarters ill health is coming from, in the end it is reducing productivity, curtailing economic growth and aggravating poverty. With the woes plaguing our health sector, dependants and breadwinners alike are languishing in hospitals for periods longer than is necessary with substandard care. In many cases this is completely avoidable.

As such, one of the most important insurance covers one can take for themselves and their family is a medical cover. It is one thing to spend time in dreary hospital corridors and at the same time worry about costs, and quite another to have the costs bit taken care of as you concentrate on healing or taking care of a loved one who is unwell. With Kenya ranking so poorly in the happiness scale due to different factors, one more burden off our shoulders is something to be celebrated.

Clearly a shift is needed in terms of reducing risk factors – curbing road accidents, reducing exposure to tobacco use, saying no to physical inactivity and unhealthy diets, and being moderate with consumption of alcohol for example. But sensitization and awareness of the same could take lots of time and besides, ill health will still not be averted 100%. Ill health has always been with us and it is unfortunate that it always will be with us and this is where medical covers come in.

Fortunately, gone are the days when a functional medical cover was a preserve of the elite. Sure, there are those that are still far beyond the reach of many but there are options and also more flexibility now in the medical insurance scene. Gone are the days when HIV/AIDs was a no go zone as far as insurance was concerned for example, with APA Insurance having been the first to underwrite the condition. Medical covers are now more affordable and even customizable depending on budgets, family size and even scope of family. APA generally has a customer oriented approach to product innovation and their medical cover has two main components – Afya Nafuu for the middle and lower bracket and Jamii Plus for the middle and upper bracket.

Going too are the days when the slightly older generation which really susceptible to age related illnesses was shunned by medical insurers. APA which is on a drive to rewrite the rules of insurance and increase our happiness quotient will cover this generation upto 75 years. Few things can be as gratifying as being able to offer our mums and dads affordable medical covers at their ages. Or our mums in law even.

With all that is going on in our lives, a financial bolster in the event of the unexpected is for sure a good priority towards ensuring reasonable happiness in life.

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