Every month, insurance industry players in the country collectively report that they pay between Shs 10 billion and Shs 15 billion in medical claims and related coverage, with half or more of that payment being paid for illnesses that could easily be avoided by regular exercise.
According to insurance industry players, medical/health insurance can become more affordable if people adopt preventive disease control measures, starting with routine physical exercise.
“If more people engage in physical exercise on a regular basis through walking, running or any form of appropriate physical activity, the cost of medical coverage will eventually come down. Indeed, once the cost of claims goes down, the benefits are distributed, including lower fares, easier access to all,” said the Vice Chairman of the Association’s Board of Directors. Ugandan Association of Insurers (UIA), Mr. Paul Muwanga, before reporting the insurance industry. march last Friday at the UIA headquarters.
UIA Director General Mr. Jonan Kisakye noted that while they are willing to pay for genuine claims, regardless of amount, disease prevention is much better insurance.
Mr. Kisakye added that the insurance industry march will take place every year.
Representing the Insurance Brokers Association of Uganda (IBAU), Mrs. Josephine Kasekende, said, “As an industry, we cannot work in silos, we must have a win-win situation: ensuring that our employees lead healthy lives, resulting in manageable claims costs. .”
The Academic Registrar of Insurance Training College, Mrs Sylvia Mwebesa Kajubi, players in the insurance industry have a responsibility not only to sell but also to educate the public including on relevant issues like healthy lifestyle , taking into account the impacts on the industry.
“Frequent physical activity is a well-established preventive and therapeutic remedy for certain non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and depression, as well as colon and breast cancer”, said International Health, a growing journal. which moved to fully open access from January 1, 2020, partially reads.
“Physical activity is also important for the prevention of NCD risk factors such as hypertension, overweight and obesity and is associated with a 20-30% reduction in the risk of NCD-related mortality,” continues the newspaper.
In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the importance of physical activity in controlling NCDs and aims for a 15% relative reduction in the global prevalence of physical inactivity among adults by 2030. Despite these efforts, an estimated 27.5% of adults worldwide are not achieving recommended levels of physical activity.
WHO recommends that adults aged 18-64 get 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of physical activity of moderate and vigorous intensity each week.
Although a recent national survey in Uganda indicated that a large proportion of the adult population met global recommendations for physical activity, there is cause for concern, according to insurance industry players. judging by the claims (money) they pay for diseases that should be preventable, more needs to be done for the country to continue to be considered one of the most physically active countries in the world.
Previous studies conducted in Uganda indicated that physical activity can be influenced by factors such as gender, age, peri-urban residence, level of education, overweight and obesity.