This article discussed the various options available to participate in the National Health Scheme.
The National Health Insurance Scheme was instituted in 1999 as a way to improve the health of Nigerians at an affordable cost. This program is funded by a pool of participants who pre-pay into the program at regular intervals. These amounts are now distributed to Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO’s), who would then be able to pay for those in need of care.
The main objectives of the NHIS are
- Ensure that every Nigerian has access to healthcare
- To protect Nigerian families against the hardship of huge medical bills
- To regulate the rise in the cost of health services
- To sure equal distribution of health care costs among different income groups
This initiative has been championed by private HMO organizations whose coverage range from National (covers the entire country) to Local (limited to certain locations or municipalities). According to NHIS, there sixty providers who offer affordable healthcare programs. Below we would be shedding light on two of these providers
Benefits of participating in an NHIS program
- Peace of mind knowing that you have insurance should you or any of your family members fall sick
- Since this program is being funded by a pool of people, it is usually cheaper for the group than if one is to pay for care individually
- There are various plans to fit various needs and budget
- Since this is usually a monthly financial contribution, it sensitizes individuals to take health more seriously by going for frequent checkups since a portion, or sometimes all of the financial commitments may be covered by the plan selected
- Some of the programs may offer international coverage, so should you need services out of the country – the financial burden won’t look impossible
- If this program is offered through an employer, it is automatically deducted on pay pre-tax which lowers the tax being deducted from a pay period.
Types of Programs offered under NHIS through HMO’s
- Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Programme: This program is funded through a pool of contributions from employees and employers in the formal sector. These consists of the public sector organized private sector, armed forces, police and other uniformed services.
- Tertiary Institution Social Health Insurance Programme: This program is funded through a pool of contribution of students. It is a service solely dedicated to students of tertiary institutions.
- Voluntary Contributor Social Health Insurance Programme: This program is funded through a pool willing individuals or at the discretion of employees with less than 10 staff.
- Community-Based Social Health Insurance Programs: This program is funded through individuals who are enrolled in a non-profit organization. It is formed on the ethics and of mutual aid and the collective pooling of health risks.
The National Health Insurance Scheme was essentially initiated for the benefit of Nigerians. A functioning society must be comprised of healthy citizens. Take advantage of the plethora of options available so that you and your family can live healthier lives. If you need help selecting a plan or choosing an HMO program, click here