Daman says premium prices are dictated by industry, not healthcare insurers

The cost of health insurance premiums is rising mainly because health care itself is becoming more expensive, the country’s leading health insurer says.

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ABU DHABI // The cost of health insurance premiums is rising mainly because health care itself is becoming more expensive, the country’s leading health insurer says.

“There are several factors for the rise in costs,” said Dr Sven Rohte, chief commercial officer at Daman. “The most prominent of these is inflation, which pushes up premiums. This is caused by the introduction of facilities, equipment, drugs and other services.”

The overall cost of premiums rose from Dh9.9 billion in 2013 to Dh11.1bn in 2014, according to the Insurance Authority of the UAE.

Dr Rohte said that while the overall cost was rising, the cost of individual policies fluctuated, and some came down.

“Costs vary according to a range of factors,” he said. “These include the number of people to be insured, risk factors such as health conditions and age, and external factors including the cost of healthcare treatment in the areas covered by the policy.

“These fluctuations in prices upon renewal are largely the result of ‘performance’. A well-performing policy is one with a low number of claims relative to the premiums paid. A low-performing policy is one in which the cost of claims outweighs the premiums paid.”

The employer of a man aged 35 in a company with more than 10 staff would pay a premium of about Dh4,500 for Daman’s Enhanced Bronze Plan and Dh5,750 for Enhanced Silver, Dr Rohte said.

arizvi2@thenational.ae