Mr Buhari disclosed this on his Twitter on Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 5:04pm, saying that this development is part of his government’s efforts to ensure health coverage for Nigerians.
In an emailed statement, the president explained that the 2022 National Health Insurance Administration Act will “ensure coverage for the 83 million poor Nigerians who cannot afford their premiums.”
He said the new bill repealed the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Act, which had been in place since 2004.
“As part of our healthcare reform, I have signed into law the recently passed National Health Insurance Administration Act of 2022, which repeals the National Health Insurance Program Act. We will ensure full implementation of the new Act to provide protection for all Nigerians,” He said.
Medicare plans are mostly described as fraudulent and an institution that lacks transparency and accountability. As of 2018, two former heads of the agency have been charged with fraud.
Why is this bill important?
- In order to reduce the huge out-of-pocket costs of health services, which often push ordinary and vulnerable Nigerians into poverty, the government established NHIS in 2004.
- Millions of Nigerians still lack access to quality healthcare.
- Previous plans failed to cover critical treatments for serious diseases such as very expensive cancer.
What this means for ordinary Nigerians
About 8 in 10 Nigerians in Africa’s largest economy do not have health insurance, according to a November survey by the country’s leading pollster, NOI Polls. Most Nigerians pay cash when they have to go to a medical facility when they are sick.
The law establishes a Vulnerable Group Fund, funded by the Fund for the Provision of Basic Health Care, the Health Insurance Tax, the Special Intervention Fund, as well as any investment income, donations and gifts to the authorities.
In a subsequent statement issued by the Presidential Spokesperson, garbashehuMr Buhari said a fund would be set up to ensure coverage for the 83 million Nigerians who are unable to pay premiums as recommended by the Lancet Nigeria Commission.
He said the Vulnerable Group Fund would be funded through the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, health insurance premiums, the Special Intervention Fund and any investment income, donations and gifts to the authorities.
He said that would cover a large number of vulnerable people who cannot pay their health insurance premiums.
Importance of health insurance
Health insurance can protect you from unexpectedly high medical bills. You can pay less for in-network health care, even before you hit your deductible. Even before you hit your deductible, you can get free preventive care, such as vaccines, screenings, and some tests.
Lifestyle diseases are on the rise, especially among those under the age of 45. Diseases such as diabetes, obesity, respiratory disease, heart disease, etc., which were prevalent among older generations, are now rampant among young people as well. Some contributing factors to these diseases include a sedentary lifestyle, stress, pollution, unhealthy eating habits, gadget addiction, and undisciplined living.
- Tackling medical inflation
As medical technology advances and diseases increase, so does the cost of treatment. It is important to understand that medical expenses are not limited to hospitals. Expenses for doctor visits, diagnostic tests, ambulance fees, operating room fees, medicines, rent, etc. are also increasing. All of this can put a considerable strain on your finances if you are not adequately prepared. By paying relatively affordable health insurance premiums each year, you can overcome the burden of medical inflation while choosing quality treatment without worrying about how much it will cost.
- To protect your family
Think about your aging parents, who are likely to be prone to illness, and dependent children. Make sure they get the best possible medical care, and in case anything happens to them, you don’t have to worry if you have the right health insurance. Research thoroughly, talk to experts to get an unbiased opinion, and make sure you get a plan that provides full coverage.