Kuppet goes after 'greedy' insurance companies as treasurer left with huge bill treating virus

Some patients of other ailments have been thrown under the bus by their insurers.

In Summary

•In March, Kenyan insurers agreed to continue covering the disease after consultations.

• According to Misori, private insurers are motivated by greed for profits ever since the NHIF is now meeting claims for all patients at every stage of in government hospitals. 

KUPPET secretary general Akelo Misori during 42 annual teachers conference at wild waters, Mombasa, June 21. /JOHN CHESOLI
FILE KUPPET secretary general Akelo Misori during 42 annual teachers conference at wild waters, Mombasa, June 21. /JOHN CHESOLI

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers has put Kenyan insurance companies on the spot over neglect during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The union said on Wednesday that even though the insurance firms declared not to honour claims by Covid-19 patients from the onset, some patients with other ailments have been thrown under the bus by their insurers.

In a statement to union members, Secretary General Akelo Misori announced the recovery of the union's National Treasurer, Wicks Mwethi Njenga, who was diagnosed with the virus on July 11.

After a successful two-week treatment at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Mwethi was discharged with a Sh3.8 million bill.

"In the Treasurer’s case, compassion came in from all directions apart from his medical insurance company. His bill amounted to,Sh3.8 million of which the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) paid its required share of Sh68,000 and the rest came from his own family and friends. His medical insurer abandoned him when he needed it most," Misori said.

He noted that the union will liaise with other trade unions to hold insurance companies to account.

"The cost of medical insurance is a big expense on family’s incomes. For public sector employees like teachers, the government has committed substantial resources that should guarantee our members of the best healthcare in these unpredictable circumstances," he said.

According to Misori, private insurers are motivated by greed for profits ever since the NHIF started meeting claims for all patients at every stage in government hospitals.

"We will demand that private insurers – in particular those retained for public sector workers – become partners in their clients’ health or stop insuring public sector employees. This pandemic has opened our eyes to the behaviour of private healthcare providers," he said.

Through a statement on Monday,NHIF CEO Peter Kamunyo said they shall support all Covid-19 positive members and their declared beneficiaries who get admitted to Ministry of Health designated facilities.

 

The facilities are; Kenyatta National Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital and Mbagathi County Hospital.

Others are; county designated facilities and any other facility as may be designated by the ministry.

"NHIF shall not be liable for bills incurred in non MoH designated health facilities," Kamunyo said.

In March, Kenyan insurers agreed to continue covering the disease after consultations.

However insurers have been turning away patients despite having hundreds of thousands of shillings still unsent on their medical covers, on grounds that the classification of the Covid-19 disease as a pandemic meant that patients have to pay for their bills.