Cancer to be part of basic insurance
COVERAGE EVEN IF COSTS GO BEYOND LIMIT OF DH150,000 FROM 2018
From next year, patients will be covered even if cost exceeds Dh150,000 limit |
We have been told that beginning 2018, preventive cancer screening tests will be covered in the EBP. This is likely to increase the premium costs to Dh875 per annum, similar to the one in Abu Dhabi.” A source from Takaful Emarat | Insurance provider
The Essential Basic Package holders of health insurance in Dubai are likely to have cancer included in their coverage with effect from 2018, say sources in the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
However, insurance companies have sent a mixed response to the DHA Health Funding Department’s decision as this will increase the cost of reinsurance for them and also hike the premium of the basic package (EBP). The formal announcement of cancer coverage is slated to come soon.
Cancer is the third biggest cause of death in the UAE after road trauma injuries and cardiovascular diseases. The incidence of breast, lung, colon and prostate cancers remains high.
Gulf News has learnt that the DHA’s Health Funding Department called a meeting of all insurance providers a few weeks ago to recalibrate their coverage to include cancer in the Essential Basic Package.
A senior person at the department told Gulf News: “We discussed the idea of including cancer treatment and giving full coverage for the disease in the EBP with our insurance providers with effect from 2018. This will be done even if the expenditure on cancer treatment exceeds the annual aggregate limit of Dh150,000 provided in the EBP.” However, insurance providers are confused as they say that what had been discussed with them so far was only cancer screening.
A source from Takaful Emarat, one of the biggest providers of Essential Basic Package, confirmed: “We have been told that beginning 2018, preventive cancer screening tests will be covered in the EBP. This is likely to increase the premium costs to Dh875 per annum, similar to the one in Abu Dhabi. Otherwise, we will not be able to cover the expensive tests.” Dr Sanjay Paithankar, managing director of Global Net, a third party administrator (TPA), explained: “All insurance providers usually have to get themselves reinsured so that if the premiums don’t cover our cost, the reinsurance takes over the additional burden ... Now with cancer screening included, we will have to get a higher reinsurance coverage to reduce the risk we operate at. In the end, this additional expense will have to be borne by the average man.”
A cancer patient about to undergo MRI screening at a hospital in Abu Dhabi.