Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has pledged to effect a Free Medical Cover for all the senior citizens in the County, in efforts to cushion them and their families from the soaring health care costs – at a time when their income is shrinking.
The importance of health insurance cannot be undermined in today’s day and age. This importance is multiplied in case of the elderly. Ageing is a natural phenomenon, and comes with increased vulnerability of the human body to all kinds of diseases.
According to the latest Economic Survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), Meru has over 122,000 senior citizens, accounting for 7.9% of the total county population.
Kenya spends 7% of the country’s GDP on medical expenses. Or in even more concrete terms, we spend seven times the cost of the Thika super highway on medical costs.
Health care costs are rising everyday and many families struggle to afford essential services like checkups or emergency care.
Our recurrent health care is funded almost equally by households directly out of pocket (32%). Our health financing is too dependent on personal funding, with a need for greater outlays by government and insurance.
Thanks to Governor Kiraitu Murungi’s program, elders can live without the burden of paying medical bills.
Without forgetting that the overwhelming majority of senior health care is not paid for by seniors but by their relatives, neighbors and leaders in Harambees.
A medical cover for senior citizens would cushion almost every family in Meru from these adverse effects of ballooning medical expenses for the ageing family members. Medical debt would be a thing of the past.
At a time with an increase in the number of diseases, a free medical cover for senior citizens is a good way of securing the family’s finances in case of diseases and medical issues affecting the elderly.
The rise in diseases has been matched by the rise in medical advancement that offers a cure for such diseases. However, such medical advancement comes at a cost. Insurance is therefore the surest way of handling medical expenses in the midst of medical inflation.
Even for the employed persons, their age is always considered when determining health insurance premiums for ordinary medical insurance plans. The cost of health insurance for senior citizens increases as a person ages. Thus, a free medical insurance cover for all senior citizens would
Finally, Meru has one of the highest cancer prevalence levels in the country. The treatment cost associated with cancer is massive.
Treating cancer can be a financially draining activity. With a free medical cover for senior citizens, all households in Meru will be relieved of the burden of paying huge medical bills.
Meru Daily News is your one-stop trusted source for the latest News updates from Meru County, Tharaka Nithi and the larger Mt. Kenya region. Follow our Social Media Pages for real-time News Bytes.