Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 11:09:18

Decree to benefit health insurance firms

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Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Last year the Ministry of Finance issued a decree setting new fees for 1,887 hospital services, including check-ups, beds, and surgery.

From March 1 nearly 1,900 different services and products at public hospitals will become around 30 percent more expensive.

The new tariff regime will see patients pay for several things that were earlier subsidised by the Government - like power and water, maintenance of equipment and waste treatment facilities, and training and research.

The ministry's decision is expected to benefit health insurance firms.

Insurance sector insiders said awareness of the importance of buying insurance, particularly to cover health, has improved significantly in recent years.

A spokesperson for a non-life insurance firm in HCM City said in 2015 his company's health insurance turnover rose 37 percent from the previous year, and would continue to increase this year, especially with the new hospital rates.

Health insurance has for several years been one of the top selling products for non-life-insurance, and even life-insurance, firms.

Analysts expect the sharp increase in fees for 1,900 health services to encourage more people to buy health insurance.

To tap the opportunity, insurance firms plan to launch a clutch of new health products, including protection against accidents and injury and critical illness.

Besides, many insurance companies have established close ties with major hospitals so that they would accept their insurance cards.

Analysts say health insurance is always the most profitable segment for insurance firms, who focus their resources on fully exploiting this.

But they say insurance providers should co-operate with hospitals to reduce administrative procedures for insurance beneficiaries.

If they do this there could well be more takers for health insurance, they add.-VNA
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