Pressure on our healthcare costs is increasing partly because of the rise of Non-Communicable Diseases, and this has caused insurers to issue a warning of an impending burden. This means that as much as the health insurance sector has recorded some growth, claims have also increased. With non-communicable diseases increasingly affecting the working age population, the cost of health care is increasingly a concern for employers, who risk losing productivity to sick leave and health-related under performance more than ever before. Towards this, employers can play a key role through their medical plans and through the implementation of wellness and prevention programs. In fact, most employers are already proactively sponsoring various types of preventative health care programs.

Furthermore, future claims are still expected to go up over the coming years with lifestyle related diseases being among the top five to cause this increase. We’re looking at illnesses such as cardiovascular, cancer, respiratory and diabetes which top the list, accounting for 82 percent of all NCD deaths.

According to the World Health Organization, of the 38 million people (about 70 percent of all deaths around the globe) who die from NCD’s in the world each year, 75 percent of which come from low and middle income countries.

In Kenya, Non-communicable diseases are still responsible for over 55 per cent of deaths and further account for more than 50 per cent of hospital admissions, according to the Ministry of Health.

Speaking at a workshop organized by Minet Kenya for human resource practitioners at a Nairobi hotel, Minet Kenya Chief Executive officer Sammy Muthui said several factors, including the increasing incidences of NDCs, have conspired to drive healthcare costs past the country’s inflation rate.

Hospitals are also feeling the pinch of the rising costs and as Mr. Muthui noted, the Company’s internal analysis revealed that several hospitals increased their costs, twice as high, in 2017 compared to 2016. This too is having a great effect on claims because as much as premiums are fixed at the beginning of the year, hospitals increase their costs midway depending on their administrative costs and other market dynamics,” Muthui said.

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