INSURANCE PAYOUTS related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have reached P3.89 billion as of end-2020, a survey conducted by the Insurance Commission (IC) showed.
Out of the 111 regulated entities, 69 respondents reported to have received COVID-19-related claims — particularly from 22 life insurers, 15 nonlife insurers, 18 mutual benefit associations (MBAs), and 14 health maintenance organizations (HMOs).
“The aggregate COVID-19-related claims paid by the HMO sector per the three surveys accounted for 49% of said amount, or approximately P1.91 billion,” Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Life insurers were able to pay P1.46 billion in COVID-19-related claims in 2020, accounting for 38% of the whole amount. Meanwhile, MBAs paid P354.90 million (9%) and nonlife insurers paid P160.20 million (4%),” he added.
Broken down, the latest survey covering October to December 2020, showed that P1.48 billion had been paid for COVID-19-related claims. The amount is a 29.41% drop from the P2.09 billion covered in the second survey from May to September 2020.
Majority or 44% of the P1.48 billion were paid by life insurers at P646.84 million, of which P607.46 million were paid within contractual obligations. The figure is 14.26% lower than the previous survey reported at P708.51 million.
However, payment terms outside of contractual obligations increased by 6.09% compared with the level in the previous survey.
On the other hand, payouts made by HMOs were 45.63% less between the second and third surveys, from P1.09 billion to P592.47 billion.
Furthermore, payouts for medical reimbursements benefits increased by 30% at P12.36 million in October to December, compared to the reported P9.49 million amount in the previous survey.
For the entire 2020, death benefits were the biggest COVID-19 payout amounting to P1.22 billion, followed by in-patient benefits (P1.18 million), and out-patient benefits (P933.7 million).
Moreover, there is a reported steady upward trend in average claims paid by the four sectors per survey, taking into account the adjusted number of months in each. However, there are limitations in the study as financial impact of the quarantine measures and its effect on production of insurance and HMO agents were not included.
“At any rate, we hope that the aggregate amount of COVID-19-related claims paid in 2020 will educate our fellow Filipinos of the benefits of availing the insurance and HMO products and the benefits of MBA membership,” said Mr. Funa.
As of Monday, the Health department reported a total COVID-19 deaths in the Philippines at 19,983, while confirmed active cases reached 48,917. — I. B. Celis