In a bid to increase awareness and enrollment of individuals on life and health insurance, Old Mutual Nigeria and Roche Products Limited have signed a memorandum of understanding for the creation of a Terminal Illness Insurance product that will provide insurance cover on various terminal and life threatening diseases such as heart attack, stroke, cancer, major organ transplant, kidney failure and comas.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) cause almost two-thirds of all deaths in resource limited countries, approximately 23 million each year, which is higher than the total number of HIV deaths worldwide each year. In Nigeria, NCDs have a rapidly increasing rate of incidence and mortality and cancer is the leading cause of death from these diseases. Lack of funding was identified as a major contributor to the high mortality rate, as patients are unable to pay for adequate care, often resulting in financial catastrophe for many middle income families. Current health insurance/ HMO packages in Nigeria today do not cover the comprehensive treatment of these diseases, forcing patients to pay out of pocket. Indeed in Nigeria and the world over, management of these diseases cannot be funded out of pocket because of high costs. As the government seeks to find solutions to these challenges, the citizens can secure insurance products like this to protect their families.
Speaking at the MOU signing ceremony, the Managing Director of Old Mutual Nigeria Life Assurance Company Limited, Mr. Keith Alford said: “This product aligns with Old Mutual Nigeria’s focus as a responsible business that provides tailored and meaningful support by addressing the issues that are relevant to the sustainability and strengthening of the communities in which we operate, thereby contributing to their positive future. We are therefore happy to partner with Roche Products Limited to do great things”.
He stated that ‘’being responsible to our community is just one of the five pillars that form the foundation of Old Mutual’s business, other pillars include being responsible to our customers, our employees, our environment and our investment.’’
Alford on his part stated that the issue of low awareness will also be addressed with this product, adding “unfortunately, many Nigerians do not consider insurance as a necessity and our aim with this product is to help them see the long term value in being protected by insurance. This will also be a tool for us to educate Nigerians on the importance of insurance with the aim of increasing the uptake of life insurance policies.”
Elaborating further on the benefits of the terminal illness insurance product covering diseases like Breast Cancer and others targeted in this product, Country Manager for Roche Nigeria, Herman Addae said: “Ground-breaking advances in medical science are only meaningful if they reach patients. With access to healthcare, the Nigerians will have the ability to build the future they want for
themselves and their families. At Roche, we are committed to collaborating with relevant stakeholders to help patients in Nigeria access innovative, lifesaving treatments through agreements such as this. As more patients start getting access to the required care, our expectation is that the mortality rate will eventually decrease.”
With the MOU in place, both parties will proceed with development of the product, with the aim of launching to the public in 2017.