National health insurance (NHI), sometimes called statutory health insurance (SHI), is a system of health insurance that insures a national population against the costs of health care. It may be administered by the public sector, the private sector, or a combination of both. Funding mechanisms vary with the particular program and country. National or statutory health insurance does not equate to government-run or government-financed health care, but is usually established by national legislation.


Where an NHI involves a choice of multiple insurance funds, the rates of contributions may vary and the person has to choose which insurance fund to belong to. National healthcare insurance programs differ both in how the contributions are collected, and in how the services are provided.

What is National Health Insurance Scheme in Nigeria?

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is a body corporate established under Act 35 of 1999 Constitution (under the NHIS Act 2004) by the Federal Government of Nigeria to improve and subsidize the health of all Nigerians at an affordable cost. It was launched on the 6th of June, 2005.
Till date, the scheme has issued 4 million identity cards, registered and accredited 62 HMOs.

NHIS is to provide social health insurance in Nigeria where health care services of contributors are paid from the common pool of funds contributed by the participants of the Scheme.

It is a pre-payment plan where participants pay a fixed regular amount. The amount/funds are pooled, allowing the Health Maintenance Organisations(HMOs) to pay for those needing medical attention. It is primarily a risk sharing arrangement which can improve resource mobilization and equity. It is indeed regarded as the most widely used form of health care financing worldwide.

NHIS also regulate private health Insurance operated by HMOs. HMOs should have a hyperlink to the HMOs list on the site.

Health Insurance is social security system that guarantees the provision of needed health services to persons on the payment of token contributions at regular intervals.

Health care in Nigeria is poorly funded. There are free health care provided. This is provided through a special health insurance scheme for government employees as well as private firms entering contracts with private health care providers. HMOs act as purchasers under the NHIS and pay providers by a mix of capitation and fee-for-service; there is also a 10% coinsurance.



The number of Nigerians covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) since its establishment are 1.5 percent of the population.What you can do, though, is register for NHIS online.
To do that, go to nhisonline.com.ng and click Register. You will need to fill in your NHIS number, surname, and date of birth to register an online account. That way, you will be able to manage your account and see the information of your dependants.

NHIS has a role to protect families from the financial hardships of huge medical bills, limits the rise in the cost of health care services, and ensures equitable distribution of health care costs among different income groups.

Earlier studies have already pointed out that most Governments in sub-Saharan Africa face financial constraints in the provision of primary healthcare services to their citizens. Remaining financially sustainable does not only imply having consistent and reliable sources of funding, but the adequacy of the funds to support claim reimbursements and other mandatory expenditure on the Scheme.

Historically, health insurance in Nigeria can be applied to a few instances: free health care provided and financed for all citizens, health care provided by government through a special health insurance scheme for government employees and private firms entering contracts with private health care providers.

According to reports, registration of dependants (Children and Parents) typically cost around N9,000 per head. For private health care service, individual plans start from N35,000 to N220,000 and family plans range from N125,000 to N650,000.

Vital Contributors Social Health Insurance Programme (VCSHIP) costs a registration fee of N15,000 and N10,000 per head while National Mobile Health Insurance Program (NMHIP) costs N12,000 and N9,000 per head. All fees are renewed annually.

NIHS is however not compulsory but it can only be effective if it is made compulsory

One of the benefits of the National Health Insurance (NHI) is the fact that it is a financing system that will make sure that all citizens (and legal long-term residents) are provided with essential healthcare, regardless of their employment status and ability to make a direct monetary contribution to the NHI Fund.

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