Uganda National Health Insurance Scheme to Spur Sector Growth
Insurers are eagerly eying the planned National Health Insurance Scheme, which is expected to take effect next year, as an opportunity to grow insurance uptake in the country.
The NHIS is a compulsory form of health insurance care financing where people who earn a monthly income will be obliged to pay a pre-determined premium to the scheme. It will enable members including their families to access quality health care services from an approved public or private health facility.
The Insurance Regulatory Authority director operations, Mr George Okotha, said the introduction of new products such as health insurance and micro insurance will help boost penetration and premium volumes. “The more products we have, the better for the industry. We are now going into products that have a direct impact on people’s lives,” Mr Okotha said.
At 0.7 per cent, Uganda has the lowest insurance penetration in the region, compared to Kenya’s 2.6 per cent, and Tanzania and Rwanda’s 1 per cent respectively.
However, currently, not many insurers offer health insurance packages due to the complexity of the product, requiring specific investments in that line of business.
Not many Ugandans take up medical insurance products apart from a few schemes that are mainly funded by employers on behalf of their employees, leaving the biggest part of the population, especially the unemployed and low income earners who can’t afford the highly priced medical packages.