Tue, 04 Feb 2003

Experience with Allianz Insurance

On Dec. 12, 2002, I visited a physician at the Omni Medical Center, one of the hospitals in Jakarta registered as a member of the Allianz Health Insurance network, for help with an annoying pain around my "twelfth thoracic vertebrae". After the usual physical examination, the doctor gave me a prescription for medicine that cost Rp 127,750.

To my surprise, Allianz refused to cover the cost of the medicine because the medicine, called Zinaxin High Strength, contains "ginger extract", which according to Allianz falls under the classification of "food supplement". Allianz employees Dewi Kurnia and Dr. E Iken Lubis said that this kind of medicine was excluded from coverage by Allianz Health Insurance.

Because I am not a medical expert, I did not know that Zinaxin High Strength was classified as a "food supplement". What I do know is that I was in pain, so I went to a doctor and medical center included on the list of hospital network members of Allianz.

Allianz strengthened its argument by citing article nine of the policy contract: "Disease/illness and/or health care and/or expenses/cost excluded by this Policy are: Experimental services or medicines not yet approved by the Department of Health of the Republic of Indonesia through the Directorate General for Drugs and Food Supervision, including traditional medical treatments and acupuncture."

But, as far as I remember, Allianz has never disclosed in detail the list of medicines covered by the policy. In fact, I felt better and my pain gradually diminished after taking the Zinaxin High Strength. Why then should I use another medicine that might upset my stomach or have other possible side effects when Zinaxin High Strength can empirically take care of my pain?