Nigerian Health Insurance; Here is a Complete Guide on All You Need to Know about health insurance in Nigeria.
The Nigerian health insurance scheme incorporated under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Act, Cap N42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, is intended to provide easy gateway to healthcare for all Nigerians at an affordable cost through several prepayment systems.
NHIS is absolutely committed to securing universal coverage and access to competent and affordable healthcare, in order to develop and enhance the health status of Nigerians, particularly for those participating in the several programs/products of the Scheme.
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) functions under a prepayment system called capitation. Every month, all registered members will receive a bill for money that they owe, nevertheless if whether that person made use of the NHIS’s services or not.
The amount that each member pays is determined by their ability to pay, and someone paying considerably less can receive the same level of care with someone who is even paying ten times more.
The main purpose of this system is to annihilate any socioeconomic barriers, that may be an obstacle to attaining access to a health service. Previously, someone earning a lower income could not access the country’s top clinics. But with the NHIS, they should be able to.
The NHIS has been laboriously criticized for many reasons. One of the determinants is that due to lack of organization and the reality that the NHIS is not compulsory, many states and regional governments are not participating in the scheme.
The NHIS cannot really be national and healthcare cannot be reachable to all citizens if some local governments or states are not a part of the NHIS.
Since 2006, the federal government has exchange views on amending the Act in order to make it mandatory for all regions to join. The basic problem lies in the way the government is organized.
Nigeria has a three-tier system of government, so what is approved at the federal level may not automatically be accepted by the states. Because Nigeria has 38 different governments, 1 federal, 36 states, and 1 Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Another primary problem with the NHIS is the monetary cost. In Nigeria, more than 70 percent of people live on less than US$1 a day.
People are often not ready to spend a whole day or a large portion of their earnings on going to hospitals that are mainly situated in urban areas.
Furthermore, people just do not trust the system yet. People are not compelled to join a system that they believe is inadequately funded, and where the quality of service is intensely poor.