The Board and Management of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) mandated to steer the affairs of Ghana’s biggest ever pro-poor health intervention, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has announced a policy to waive the 30-day waiting period for members of the Scheme who are 70 years old or above.
This comes in as a big relief for old people, at least 70 years, who either join the Scheme for the first time or renew their membership after expiration.
This policy statement was made by the Authority’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye, on Monday, September 26, 2022 at the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council during an official courtesy visit to the Regional Minister, Hon Simon Osei Mensah.
The NHIS boss was accompanied by a cross-section of management staff and board members led by the Board Chair, Dr. Ernest Kwarko.
It has been a legitimate long-standing policy of Ghana’s NHIS for first-time members as well as members who renew their membership, at least, three (3) months after expiration to wait for thirty (30) days for their membership to be automatically active.
However, by virtue of this policy effective Monday, September 26, 2022, senior members of the Scheme who are at least 70 years have been added to the exemption list as far as the waiting period is concerned.
Already enjoying this exemption are pregnant women and children of five (5) years and below.
Speaking to the media, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye reiterated the need to cushion senior members under the Scheme, at least, for their many years of service to Ghana.
This is perhaps an addition to a couple of special benefits for old people on the Scheme. Since its inception, members of the Scheme who are 70 years and above have been exempted from paying “premium” or contribution, therefore, to join the NHIS or renew their membership requires payment of only a processing fee of Ghc 8 for registration and Ghc 5 for renewal.
The NHIS boss also encouraged members of the public who have not yet joined the Scheme to sign up to enjoy the many existing and recently added benefits such as childhood cancers, sickle cells and family planning.
The NHIS which was introduced in the year 2003 by the Kufuor government is now reported to have nearly 54% of Ghana’s population as its active members.