Insurance firms bow to pressure, content to cover COVID-19 patients

Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda CEO, Alhaj Kaddunabbi Ibrahim Lubega in a media engagement early this year. (PHOTO FIle)

Kampala – The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) of Uganda, has on Wednesday, April 8, reached a decision to extend medical cover to coronavirus patients, RedPepper’s Maurice Muhwezi reports.

This development follows after insurance player unanimously agreed to support government effort in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

To this end, the insurance players have unanimously agreed to support government efforts in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by making an exemption of the Standard Policy terms and conditions (pandemic exclusion) and admitting valid claims for medical expenses for the treatment of insured patients affected with COVID-19,” read statement sanctioned by IRA CEO, Alhaj Kaddunabbi Ibrahim Lubega.

The insurance regulator disclosed that the majority of the medical insurance and reinsurance providers excludes cover for pandemics citing their catastrophic nature. This prompted the regulator to engage and consulted with policy providers on the matter.

Kaddunabbi, in the statement, clarified on the areas to be covered by COVID-19 patients and sustained that the regulator will continue to monitor the situation and offer guidance where necessary.

“IRA, therefore, informed the general public that existing medical insurance policies will cover for COVID-19 which may include testing, treatment and care at the government designated facilities,” said Kaddunabbi.

The insurance boss encouraged medical insurance customers to follow the guidelines provided by Government and the health Ministry and reach Health authorities when they exhibit symptoms.

We further advise persons who exhibit symptoms or suspect exposure to the coronavirus to contact the Ministry of Health through the toll-free lines 0800-100066 or 0800-203033 so that we can collectively defeat COVID-19,” Kaddunabbi urged.

This comes barely 72 hours since insurance provider, Prudential Assurance, launched a new package which provides for their clients’ eligibility for an allowance and a cash amount for their family expenses if diagnosed with the coronavirus.

“If you are a Prudential client, and are unfortunately diagnosed with COVID-19, we will give you a cash amount to help your family manage expenses. If you are admitted to a hospital with COVID-19, we will provide an allowance. This will be at no extra cost to you,” the notice read

Ministry of Health, on Tuesday, April 7, confirmed that none of the samples tested positive of the deadly coronavirus, halting the count to 52.

“A total of 150 samples have tested NEGATIVE for COVID-19 today(Tuesday). The total number of COVID-19 confirmed cases stands at 52 in Uganda and all are in stable condition at Entebbe Grade B (20), Mulago (30), Adjumani (1) and Hoima (1) hospitals,” read the statement sanctioned by Dr. Mwebesa Henry, Ministry of Health’s Director of General Health Services.

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