Yuriy Nikanyonok  

Corporate Health Insurance in the Ukraine’s Crisis Situation: What is there to Know?

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What aspects should HRs pay attention to when concluding corporate health insurance policy for the employees?

Even despite crisis Ukraine’s market keeps seeing growth of interest towards health insurance. Of course, depreciation of currency of Ukraine has been influencing the prices for pharmaceuticals, as well as medical services, but it couldn’t prevent the private medical institutions from enhancing their co-operation with insurance companies.

Health insurance provides coverage of medical expenses incurred due to the sudden injury, illness (for instance, flue, cold) or even acute exacerbation of a chronic disease (e.g. gastritis). There are several kinds of medical assistance provided for by the insurance policy: emergency assistance, in-patient facility care, and outpatient care. Normally pharmaceuticals prescribed by the doctors are also paid for by the insurers. Dental care, vitamins, routine examination, prenatal care etc. can be included into program subject to payment of additional insurance premium.

What influences the cost of corporate health insurance? 

Nowadays the majority of the insurers tie the final cost of the health insurance program to the exchange rate of USD or Euro.
Number of factors determines the cost of a program. They are program overview, level of medical institutions, number of the insured and their age, etc. It is worth mentioning that due to the Ukraine’s crisis the majority of the insurers started to tie the final cost of the health insurance programs to the exchange rate of USD or Euro. Depreciation of currency of Ukraine causes the surge of prices for imported pharmaceuticals. Don’t be surprised if you come across the provision in a policy stipulating the increase of program’s cost subject to currency exchange rate fluctuation for more than 10 % (normally). While the exclusion of such provision from the agreement is not possible, there are some options to negotiate more tolerant conditions by imposing deductible or giving up more expensive clinics or additional bonuses. It is important to always make sure to study closely the exact terms and conditions of price reconsideration by the insurer.

What else is there to remember when signing corporate health insurance policy?

In a nutshell, even irrespective of the crisis Ukraine is going through, the most painful for an insured is denial of covering critical diseases diagnoses which require expensive treatment. From the point of view of these insured such policy is of no use at all. However, illnesses associated with expensive heart surgeries, oncology, tuberculosis etc. are by default excluded from the coverage which is clearly stated in the insurance policy. Nonetheless some can be covered individually for additional payment.   That is a so called “critical diseases option” provided with a certain limit which usually covers only the first course of treatment. Corporate limit for covering exceptions usually accounts for 10 per cent of the insurance premium making it ineffective for small businesses’ insurance. The Ukraine’s crisis made even a lot of large companies cut their expenses on broader insurance coverage for their employees. In this regard another option caught on which is casualty insurance enhanced by critical diseases option. This product implies radically different nature of indemnification. The insurance company is liable to cover the fixed sum stipulated by the agreement upon the occurrence of any event (injury, disease etc.), insured by the policy.  It is significantly cheaper than the health insurance policy, and this factor comes to light more clearly in a view of the Ukraine’s crisis.

To sum it up, it is worth pointing out that health insurance represents one of the many financial instruments available in Ukraine which has its limitations which should not be neglected in order to avoid disappointment in the future. 


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