The usefulness of health insurance in Ghana is clearly evidenced by the fact that the state run National Health Insurance Scheme has attracted millions of members from all around the country despite the well documented shortcomings with regards to both the range of ailments and treatments covered as well as the quality of service itself, which is often stifled by financial difficulties. Private health insurers try to leverage the sheer relevance of health insurance, but get around the service quality shortcomings of the state-run scheme by offering their schemes to customers willing to pay more in order to get high quality service.
There are several private health insurance companies in Ghana running various schemes of this nature, competing with each other along the lines of both cost and product quality. But the most acclaimed is Acacia Health Insurance which has become a multiple award winner in that industry and indeed is now ranked the number one health benefits provider in Ghana.
Established as a private mutual health insurance scheme in 2012, it became fully commercialized in 2015. Its most recent accolades since then include: Fastest Growing Health Insurance Company and Best Marketing Initiative for Health Insurance, both of which were conferred at the 2017 Ghana Insurance Awards; and Health Insurance Provider of the Year, 2018, conferred at the West Africa Health Excellence Awards. The company was also inducted into the Ghana Club 100, which comprises the leading predominantly privately owned corporations in the country, entering the rankings at number 22. Instructively it is the only dedicated health insurance provider to be part of the Ghana Club 100.
Inevitably, the superior quality of both private health insurance products and the distribution channels through which they are delivered to clients, requires significantly higher premiums than the state -run national scheme. However Acacia has found the right balance between product quality and coverage on the one side and affordability on the other. Indeed, the scheme offers four distinct options, each with rising coverage in exchange for higher premiums; the basic package is easily affordable to the corporate clients that form the bulk of its customer base, but still incorporates the major benefits of private schemes.
Currently, Acacia’s scheme has over 25,000 policy holders, mainly employees of corporate organizations in Ghana and the scheme works with over 550 accredited service providers all around the country which enables it to deliver its comprehensive healthcare to members nationwide.
Acacia has set out to provide excellent health insurance and administration services that will be appealing to the majority of health plan subscribers and this is exactly what the company is doing. To do this the company has introduced innovative products and benefit options that offer better value propositions than its competitor’s schemes, and just as importantly provides excellent customer service in delivering these products and benefits.
In recognition of the higher premiums necessary to meet the relatively higher running costs incurred by superior private health schemes, Acacia offers four different options, each designed to meet the particular needs and budgets of its various customers.
The most basic – and therefore affordable – product is the Unicare Plan which is Acacia’s budget, or base plan. It provides basic cover to corporate organizations that have to run staff health care on a tight budget. It provides both in and out patient cover with some additional cover for optical and dental care.
The next level of benefits is provided by the Acacia Premiercare Plan. This covers out-patient and in-patient services with additional cover for maternity optical and dental care.
Then there is the Supercare Plan which offers even wider health service coverage with generous limits for optical, dental, maternity and most types of surgery. This enhanced plan also gives policy holders an annual medical examination to help them access routine medical check-ups.
The top of the line product is the Supercare Plus Plan which is the ultimate healthcare cover. With access to the entire Acacia service provider list, policy holders key staff, covered by the policy, whose worth is essential to the running of the client company, have virtually unlimited access to health benefits.
Apart from the cover provided by each of the plans themselves, policyholders have access to Acacia Medical Centre, the company’s ultramodern well-equipped hospital located in East Legon, for all their annual medical screening and out-patient needs. There is also an on-call ambulance service for medical emergencies in and around Accra and Tema. `Staff of policy holding companies and their dependents can also be assisted with medical referrals to any of Ghana’s three leading public hospitals – Korle-Bu and Komfo-Anokye Teaching Hospitals and 37 Military Hospital.
Critical care coverage services, not covered by the standard benefits packages are also available at an extra cost as is “mobile medicine” services for staff of policy holding companies, whereby the health care they need is delivered right to where they are.
Add to all these an international health insurance package which provides cover in Africa and beyond, facilitated through Acacia’s international partners; and the provision of treatment overseas through Acacia’s partners in the United Arab Emirates, India and some other world class health facilities around the world.
Acacia is by no means the only private health insurance scheme in Ghana but it certainly is the most acclaimed and indeed ranks among the best. Which is why it sets the standards for other private health insurance schemes to match or beat; and which is why private health insurance in Ghana so easily beats the value proposition offered by the state run National Health Insurance Scheme, even though membership requires significantly more financial outlay.
Instructively there are over 25,000 people in Ghana who can attest to this.