Lagos plans compulsory health insurance scheme for residents
25 April 2017 Health
The Lagos State Government on Tuesday said that plans were in progress to start its compulsory Health Insurance Scheme for all residents to ensure adequate healthcare services.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, who made the assertion during the “Mamaye Day’’ celebration at Ikeja, said that the scheme would enrol a family of six with the premium paid in monthly instalments.
Mamaye Day is a programme organised annually by an NGO, Mamaye Nigeria, to make life-saving changes, especially to save pregnant mothers and their newborn.
The theme of 2017 Mamaye Day is “Reducing the Burden of Out-of-Pocket Payment for Pregnant Women by Ensuring Universal Access to Health Care Delivery Through State Health Insurance Scheme’’.
According to him, the scheme protects one from paying out-of -pocket for medical services when injured or sick.
“The scheme is for all residents of Lagos State and all residents must have Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) Cards to benefit from this scheme.
“Enrolment is per family of six, which will include the mother, father and four children; there are allowances for Single or Unit Enrolment.
“The family is expected to pay a premium N40,000 yearly, that is N3,333 monthly and the single is N8,500 per annum, which is N708 premium monthly.
“The Free Health Funds subsumed into the scheme is such that the Lagos State Health Fund will pay for residents who cannot pay for themselves,’’ Idris said.
On the modalities for payment, he said that it would be multi-dimensional.
“Payment platforms will be multi-media and can be made through the phone, community and banks.
“Benefit packages will include primary and secondary care.
“The kick-off date of the scheme, as well as the definite processes of enrollment and payment procedures will be announced later.
“However, a proposed soft launch of the scheme will be in June with mass sensitization, advocacy and social marketing programmes,’’ he said.
The commissioner said that the reasons for the health insurance scheme included the increasing population in the state and the need for better healthcare delivery services.
“There is need for this health insurance with the ever increasing population of over 23 million people in the state.
“Also, there is increasing disease burden, which has now tripled and the budgetary allocation is still inadequate to meet the health care challenges.
“Free health scheme is not reaching the poor and vulnerable; there is also high out-of-pocket system; 56.22 per cent of health expenditure is out of pocket, according to the National Health Account 2006 to 2009.
“There is also a strain on our facilities as private facilities provide health care for over 65 percent of the population in the state; the total registered private health facilities are currently over 3,000.
“Human resources is challenged and there are also quality issues that need to be improved on.’’
The commissioner said that the Primary Health Centres would be the first point of care for all enrollees and services.
“The PHCs will serve as the gateway for all referrals.
“Both the private and public facilities will be participating and enrollees are at liberty to pick a public or private facility, as per their preference and area of abode.
“The Lagos State Health Management Agency and Lagos State Government Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) will ensure the provision of qualitative services and value for money spent in all facilities,’’ he said.