Men-C insurance coverage, questions raised

THE recent meningococcal outbreak has raised a lot of questions on the benefits of health insurance policies and whether they could be used to assist people needing vaccines.

Insurance Council of Fiji chairperson Peter McPherson said it was important that people understood what they were signing up for when they took out health insurance.

The meningococcal C conjugate vaccine (brands include: Neis-vac, Menitorix) and the quadrivalent ACWY conjugate vaccine (brands include: Menactra, Menveo, Nimenrix) are the only two vaccines available in the country.

The cost of these vaccines range from $100 to $300.

Mr McPherson said people needed to ask questions about what was and wasn’t covered under health insurance schemes.

“It depends on what policy the claimant has got, we have a gold, silver or bronze policy and it depends on what you pay for,” he said.

He said most of the health insurance taken by the public were under the bronze policy.

“If that’s the case, it (meningococcal vaccines) probably wouldn’t be covered and if you have the illness you would have to pay for the vaccine.”

Mr McPherson said the cost of policies that offered a wide coverage was expensive.

“It means you pay more to get more coverage.”

Mr McPherson confirmed that no complaints have been registered with the council regarding the meningococcal vaccine issue.

Meanwhile, 38 cases of meningococcal disease have been recorded in the country from January 1 to March 29.