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High cost of capital thwarting growth of private health insurance industry – Acacia Health Insurance CEO

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Acacia Dr Armooh speaking at the programme

The high cost of capital is thwarting the growth of private health insurance industry, the Chief Executive Officer of Acacia Health Insurance Limited, Dr Dan Armooh, has said.

According to him, some private companies had collapsed due to financial difficulties.

Speaking during an interaction with journalists about the private health insurance industry, Dr Armooh stressed that cheap capital would help the industry to flourish.

“The  prospects of the private health insurance industry is huge and bright since  insurance penetration in the country is generally low and private health industry should be supported to thrive,” he said.

Dr Armooh said the current arrangement where the National Health Insurance Scheme took a chunk of all health insurance business was hampering the growth of the private health insurance industry.

“Until the NHIS shrunk its services and ceded some of the services for the private sector operators, the private health insurance companies will continue to suffer,” he said.

Turning his focus on Acacia Health Insurance, a member of the Enterprise Group, he said in spite of the difficulties facing some private health insurance companies, his outfit was well capitalised to meet its financial obligations.

He said the company’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 167 per cent, well above the regulatory threshold of 150 per cent.

“Although, the minimum capital requirement for players in the private health insurance scheme is GH¢5.4million, Acacia Health Insurance Limited, has stated capital of GH¢18. 6million,” he said.

Dr Armooh said his outfit which started about 10 years ago as Mutual Health Insurance Scheme that was operating without profit motive was acquired in the Enterprise Group in 2021 and now a Limited Liability Company.

He explained that the company was currently serving more than 34,000 customers across the country, stressing that “Our vision in the next to three years is to increase our membership to 60,000 and the long priority to achieve 100,000 membership,” he said.

He said the 14 private health insurance companies currently had a total customer base of 300, 000.

The CEO said the company served clients in the mining, banking and finance, telecommunications, agriculture sectors, non-governmental organisations, foreign missions and churches.

“Since Acacia’s inception, the company has paid more than GH¢182, 000,000, as claims,” DrArmooh said, adding that it was one of the private companies which paid claims promptly.

He said Acacia had almost 700,000 service providers across the country and with the company’s Identity Card members could access health care in any part of the country.

Touching on the future outlook of the company, DrArmooh said the objective was to deploy digital technology to serve clients well.

“We want to build synergies with our service providers to better service our clients,” he said.

DrArmooh said Acacia would by the end of the year, launch a new product to serve the family and individuals.

He observed that the prospects of the private health insurance scheme was huge and bright.

The Project Coordinator of the EnterpriseGroup Communications and Synergy Department, MsFahimah Nelson, said the interaction formed part of the Advantage Seminar which started in 2021 and held quarterly to discuss issues of public concern.

She said the purpose of the Acacia Health Insurance Limited programme was to share insights on the operations of private health insurance companies in the country.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE