Can­cer to be part of ba­sic in­sur­ance

COV­ER­AGE EVEN IF COSTS GO BE­YOND LIMIT OF DH150,000 FROM 2018

Gulf News - - Front Page - BY SUCHITRA BAJPAI CHAUDHARY Se­nior Re­porter

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.”

Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News Ar­chives

A can­cer pa­tient about to un­dergo MRI screen­ing at a hos­pi­tal in Abu Dhabi.

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