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Brief Review: Health insurance products in Pakistan

In today’s age, advancements in medical and health science are occurring at an unprecedented pace making possible what once was only a dream. This, however, has come at a cost as medical expenses are also on the rise making vital procedures and even general care at a reputable hospital unaffordable for the general population. To counter this, insurance companies bring affordable and essential health plans that enable their customers to receive top of the line health care without having to worry about financing it. With health insurance, one can pay specific amounts of money each year as premium and he/she are then covered at the time of accidents, operation or any medical need.

One of the most bought insurance product is health insurance. The topic of a health insurance policy can be both very complex and simple at the same time as a lot of misconceptions exist towards health insurance like:

  1. Insurance claim only in case of hospitalization
  2. Maternity related expenses are not covered
  3. Buying policy online is risky
  4. Only the member who is paying the premium will be covered
  5. Medicines and injections are not covered
  6. Major health conditions are not covered

There are various benefits of availing health insurance some of which are:

  1. Health insurance can minimize the medical expenditure and provide a better health to the insurance member and family.
  2. If one needs a surgery that costs more than their monthly budget, health insurance can provide the finest possible treatment.
  3. By opting for health insurance, one can get treated at any of the network hospitals that are offered under insurance providers’ agreement.
  4. Some insurance companies even cover the expense incurred for hiring an ambulance for the patient to travel to the hospital.
  5. Cashless claim allows insurance member to receive medical treatment without need to submit a claim for or pay for treatment. Insurance companies are registered with large number of hospitals in their network.

While there are many insurance companies that are presently offering health insurance products, a few of them are discussed below:

Allianz EFU (Tahaffuz)

Allianz EFU is Pakistan’s first specialized health insurance company. It is one of the largest health insurance companies in Pakistan in terms of gross annual premium revenue, number of corporate clients and number of insured lives. It is headed by a team of professionals with extensive experience of insurance industry in Pakistan, UK and other parts of the world. This has helped the company in establishing a professional culture which is unique amongst the health insurance business in Pakistan. Allianz EFU has over 150 hospitals registered in their network.


State Life (Social Health Protection)

State Life has taken initiative to launch Social Health Protection (SHP) to provide and promote social and micro health insurance scheme for the most deserving segment of population. The scheme will target the most deprived segment of society and provide them access to the health facilities in a wide range of public and private hospitals. The proposed target market will tend to expand to include a wide range of society. The scheme aims to encourage:

  • Utilization of health care facilities
  • Provision of ‘A’ quality health services
  • Provision of cashless services to beneficiaries
  • Awareness regarding financial risk due to health-related perils

Under the scheme, the members will be covered for hospitalization, day care surgeries and maternity benefits, albeit under a prescribed limit. Along with the provision of these facilities, the quality of services will also be monitored for improvement. Features such as transportation and cash grant on maternity will encourage the female population to utilize the health provider facilities and will ultimately result in improving the female and child survival rate. More than one million beneficiaries will be enrolled under the scheme to get the benefit of hospitalization.

Jubilee Life (Health Shield)

Jubilee Life offers an attractive Health Insurance Plan called Jubilee Health Shield that provides financial support and assistance to members who have had a medical emergency and also provides various additional built in benefits such as inclusion of pre-existing conditions.

Alfalah Health Insurance (Group Plan)

Health Insurance Scheme of Alfalah Insurance Company is an exclusive Group Medical Insurance Program specially designed for organizations to take care of health-related concerns of their employees & their family members. Group Medical Insurance covers medical cost of Indoor patients (IPD), Outdoor patients (OPD), Surgical treatment, Maternity, Dread Diseases & Specialized Investigations as per organizations’ choice and requirements.

United Insurance Company Of Pakistan (Health Insurance Plan)

UIC’s health insurance plan is a vital tool in hassle free delivery of health care services. They offer value added features and complete solution for all health worries off setting huge medical expenses that have large bearing on health and its maintenance. They have well-conceived and customized plan uniquely designed to address all health exigencies requiring hospitalization. They have insurance arrangements with world’s top reinsurers.

The writer is a Karachi based freelance columnist and is a banker by profession. He could be reached on Twitter @ReluctantAhsan

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