How to manage health care costs in Kenya

Medical bills continue to be one of the biggest financial burdens facing Kenyans. This is due to the nature of the health care system in Kenya. Every year about 1.5 million people are pushed below the national poverty line due to direct medical bills. Only 1 out of 4 Kenyans have medical insurance and the medical inflation rate currently stands at 12% compared to the global inflation rate at 9.5%.You can deduce from this that the cost of receiving medical care is very high, and it is not expected to reduce very soon. It will take a lot of investment from the Kenyan government to reduce the cost of medical care.

So how do we manage our health care costs?

Lifestyle change

Living a healthier lifestyle could prevent you from visiting a health facility in the first place. You need to watch your diet and stay physically active for your benefit. Most of the chronic diseases today are due to our lifestyle habit with a small contribution by our genetic factors.

Oversees Treatment

Oversees treatment could sometime cost you less than being treated here in Kenya. One of the most preferred destinations for international medical treatment today is India. It provides a cost effective and a high quality medical treatment especially for chronic conditions that would otherwise cost an arm and leg here at home. Some of the hospitals even provide language interpreters for better services.

Understanding that medical insurance card is not a credit card

A number of medical insurance holders view it as a credit card. You will find that, simple ailments e.g. a cold that only needs over the counter drugs to suppress, one would rather go through the whole queuing hassle in a hospital and later paying a much more expensive fee than the over the counter drugs they could afford, just because they would not like to incur an out of pocket expense. Such habits are the contributing factor to insurance premium inflation because insurance companies are forced to match up the claims they are receiving.

Generic drugs

These are medication created to be the same as an already existing brand of medicine form of dosage, safety, strength, administration route, quality, performance characteristics and intention of use. It works just the same as an existing brand or medicine but with a cheaper price tag. It something to consider when lowering our healthcare costs.

Second opinion

When diagnosed with an ailment it is good to get a second opinion from a different doctor before you can agree to start treatment. This will allow you to confirm that the disease exist and how best to deal with situation.