Insurance policy to provide access to cancer treatment

August 10, 2016 | 14:17
Bao Viet Insurance has launched the nation’s first policy to protect against the diagnosis of cancer offering hope for those worried about Vietnam’s high cancer mortality rate.

The K-care package has been approved by the Ministry of Finance to provide financial access to early-stage cancer treatment up to VND1.2 billion ($54,795) per policy.

Bao Viet’s close co-operation with the global pharmaceutical firm ROCHE, who have partnerships with 95 local hospitals nationwide, guarantees access to advanced treatments. Risks covered include cancer diagnosis (both at early and late stages), hospitalisation and death.

According to the Ministry of Health (MoH), by 2020 Vietnam will have 189,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in the country. The number of deaths from the disease is expected to reach 82,000 by that time, equal to 43.5 per cent of the total number of cancer patients. Currently, Vietnam’s mortality rates from cancer are among the highest in the world.

Financing treatment remains an acute problem for Vietnamese cancer patients. The MoH’s data claims that after 12 months of treatment, 34 per cent of patients cannot afford medicines, 22 per cent cannot pay travelling expenses and 24 per cent can no longer afford to pay their rent and household bills.

The arrival of K-care is expected to lessen the burden on Vietnam Social Insurance, who paid over VND4.4 trillion ($201 million) for cancer treatment in 2015. The insurance bill for six common types of cancer is estimated to equal to some 0.22 per cent of the country’s GDP. To mitigate these costs, in January 1, 2015, the Ministry of Health reduced the cost of 28 cancer treating pharmaceuticals to only 30-50 per cent.

At the product launch, Bao Viet Insurance and Vietnam Reinsurance Company donated VND100 million to the Supportive Fund for Cancer Patients – the Bright Future, and pledged ongoing support to the organisation.

Bao Viet Insurance is the current leader in healthcare insurance with a market share of 29 per cent. They are followed by VASS Assurance Corporation with 14 per cent, Petrolimex Vietnam Insurance (PVI) and Bao Minh Insurance Corporation both with 12 per cent.

By By Thanh Xuan

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