‘Pay as you go’ package introduced for NHIS subscribers in Ghana as expansion set to surge healthcare utilization

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The expansion named in Futball Surgery News ‘pay as you go’ means NHIS subscribers will access and utilize healthcare services with their insurance card right moment after renewal or registration.

Something that has never existed in the past when an old or new subscriber has to wait for months before using the card for health services especially for defaulters as NHIS authority expands insurance package on timeliness and accessibility dimensions.

The National Health Insurance Scheme District Manager for Ashiaman, Madam Patrina Anthony, says the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Card holders across Ghana can now visit hospital immediately after registering or renewing their cards.

This is expanded special package for NHIS subscribers announced in the Scheme’s annual weekly celebration. This undoubtedly will have good influence on healthcare accessibility, utilization and preferences over time according experts.

By this, people will be able to make good judgment about the health conditions they need to present at health center without factoring in which time is appropriate for doing so and more importantly the time appropriate for utilizing a particular medication. This means subscribers can enjoy treatments stated under the package at any time they feel doing so, completely cutting off ties with associated decision delays.

“You can now renew your card today and use it today,” Madam Patrina Anthony announced.

According to statistics from NHIS website, Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme active membership rose from 10.8 million in 2018 to over 12 million in 2019.

Ashanti Region recorded the highest active membership of 2.2 million followed by the Greater Accra region with 1.7 million. The Brong Ahafo region scored third with active membership of 1.5 million and the Eastern was placed fourth with 1.3 million respectively.

The Upper West region had the lowest active membership of 0.47 million. In view of the current standings, 79.3% constituted members who had renewed their membership within the last year with the Ashanti region recording the highest number of renewals followed by the Greater Accra and Brong Ahafo regions.

These trends are expected to continue and even in areas where there was no or little growth are positively predicted as more people will feel attracted to register with the insurance policy and well attracted to enjoying health services under the package.

Madam Anthony added that the NHIS has now taken the cost of treatment for childhood cancers, which use to be a very huge burden on parents and their families.

The government, she said, had heeded to the cry of parents and Ghanaians by doing the needful.

Madam Anthony made this known in a media interview at Ashiaman at the weekend during the NHIS’ Week celebration on the theme, “Expanding Access to Healthcare Using the Ghana Card”.

She also announced the plan to link all Ghana-Card holders to NHIS cards for effective and efficient healthcare across the country.

“Ghanaians could use their Ghana-Cards for renewal of NHIS and also access healthcare, which will benefit the people of Ashaiman because majority of the people are financially challenged,” she added.

Madam Anthony said NHIS was bringing registration to the various areas of Ashaiman to avoid transport cost to Tema and Ashaiman district office for greater accessibility and affordability.

Dr Alhasan Hanifa, Medical Director responsible for Official Town Community Hospital, commended the government for adding their hospital to the NHIS to ensure quality healthcare was brought to the doorsteps of the residents of Official Town.

He also commended the government for adding the treatment of childhood cancer treatment to NHIS since cancer management was very expensive in Ghana.

The Medical Director was also happy that females could now get Family Planning Services by using NHIS Card.

The NHIS since its introduction has become the backbone of healthcare in the country and Ghanaians below the ages of 18 and above 70 could pay only Ghc5 for renewal and Gh¢8.00 for a new card. Others between 18 to 69 years are to pay Gh¢27 for renewal and Gh¢30 for a new card.

Meanwhile, both renewal and new cards for pregnant women are absolutely free of charge.

The latest development is partly a major contribution of the NHIS’ quest to increase its membership to reposition Ghana in line with the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

‘The main thing we all want is Universal Health Coverage for Ghanaians which means we need to increase the membership coverage, which means we need to realize the benefit package with the health needs of the citizens of Ghana and which means the Scheme must be financially sustainable so that we achieve financial risk protection for the people of Ghana.” Ghana’s NHIS is extremely adversely selected, said NHIA Chief Executive, Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby.

“We have those who need Health Insurance or the Scheme and the healthy at the moment as taking out, we have to change that narrative to balance it out, She added.

“We are looking at ways to partnering with various agencies, organizations to make the requirement of having NHIS active membership almost mandatory across the country that will get us the 100 percent coverage we are looking for.

“We have a lot of innovations going on and during our tenure I think we will be able to show that the Health Insurance is alive kicking, very vibrant and more importantly responsive to the needs of the people of Ghana.”


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