Medical insurers say premiums will most likely go up unless doctors cut fees in a sector where costs are rising and losses escalating.
The comments come even as the industry grapples with fraud that has dogged the business for years with the main victims being policyholders who have to pay high premiums.
CIC General Insurance managing director Elijah Wachira told the Business Daily the fees were the major reason behind the industry losses and it was high time they were reduced.
“Although CIC is performing well and making a profit in the medical insurance business; most other insurers are not doing the same.
“The industry as a whole is in a loss position in so far as medical underwriting is concerned. And doctors’ fees are the major cost,” said Mr Wachira.
“The fees of medical professionals should be lowered in order not to force the industry to raise premiums.
“As things stand, I see insurers likely to raise their premiums because they cannot survive this way.”
Available data from the Insurance Regulatory Authority show that the incurred losses in medical underwriting jumped more than seven times in only two quarters of 2018 compared to the full year in 2017.
In the second and third quarter of last year (the only quarters where full industry data is available for 2018), the total medical underwriting losses stood at Sh1.48 billion, up from a loss of Sh236 million for the whole of 2017.