Old Mutual Nigeria Life Assurance Company has urged Nigerians to adopt Critical Illness Insurance plan, as a cover for their hospital expenses in the event they suffer from critical illness.
The Managing Director of the company, Keith Alford, said access to quality healthcare, is one of the most important factors in living a quality life and the most critical human need today.
Quoting the World Health Organisation’s survey that shows that access to healthcare is oftentimes, the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa, where residents pay out of their pocket for medical expense, he added that the average spending on health per person in Nigeria is valued at N78,000, with N57,000 being out-of-pocket and N12,000 coming from Government-assisted healthcare initiatives.
The current economic downturn and the resultant reduction in purchasing power, he said, have combined to make access to adequate health care a distant dream for Nigerians, noting that 90.2 per cent of Nigerians cannot afford to pay for their medications.
“What this means is that, for the average Nigerian, an unexpected health challenge can cause major financial disruption, leaving one with healthcare bills they often cannot afford.
“This problem can be further worsened if the ailment diagnosed is critical, which globally, involves very costly medicare, due to the extensive examinations, rare medications and prolonged complicated treatment process,” he said.
He listed the critical ailments to include stroke, cancer, heart attack, coronary artery disease, hepatitis, chronic liver disease, chronic lung disease, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis, among others.
He added that despite these shocking reports and the fearsome outlook for critical illness in Nigeria, in terms of severe financial exposures, these can be proactively mitigated through the financial protection, which its insurance policies provide for.
“We understand that close to 90% of Nigerians lack Health Insurance, leaving 9 out of every 10 Nigerians completely exposed to the huge and harsh financial impact of contracting any critical illness.”
“We know that critical illnesses such as Cancer, Heart Attack, Stroke, Kidney, and Liver diseases are eternally lurking in the corners and can spring on us without warning,” he added.
Stating that the desire of Old Mutual is for any patient who has any of the critical illnesses to concentrate his or her will power to full and speedy recovery rather than double the grief with the financial burden for the expensive treatment, he added that the Old Mutual insurance cover for critical illnesses would be taking the responsibility for all the financial requirement, while the patient devotes self to the healing process, saying, this is the least every hardworking Nigerian deserves.
For the policy, he added that the minimum entry age is 18 years, while the maximum is 67 years and the ceasing age is 70 years, with the policy term lasting from 3-15 years, even as the cover amount ranges from a minimum of N500,000 to a maximum of N30 million.