Health insurance in Nigeria is very important, it is a guarantee that all medical/hospital costs will be paid without stress. Without health insurance, the patients and their relatives are having to pay for treatment, admissions, drugs, tests from their pockets or taking out loans with high interest rates. In these situations the patients becomes more unwell or a relative has fallen ill due to the stress caused in raising the funds to pay for the medical care.
The National Health Insurance Schemeis the regulatory and umbrella body for Health Insurance in Nigeria, it provides oversight for the Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) and other organisations that are involved in the provision of Healthcare Insurance. The Health Maintenance Organisations are private or public incorporated companies registered by the National Health Insurance Scheme for the purpose of managing the provision of health care services.
There are many benefits of getting a health insurance plan, including:
· Payments for routine and regular screenings to enable early detection of potential/genetic health conditions e.g. screening for diabetes, cholesterol checks, vaccinations, mammograms etc.
· Hospitalisation: Admissions cost have risen by a huge step, daily charge ranges are from tens of thousands of naira to hundreds of thousands of naira, depending on the hospital and the ailment.
· Emergency care: So many people die from emergencies; sometimes because there is no money to get the needed appropriate healthcare. Services and devices to help rehabilitate an injured person also come with the package e.g., prosthetics, pacemakers for heart care.
· Pharmaceutical drugs: Prescription drugs should not be third options in healthcare management plans if money is not the first consideration.
· Laboratory tests
· Doctor visits/ check-up payments: There will be no need to miss that doctor appointment because you are worried about getting the doctor’s consultation fee.
· Paediatric care: Children’s health needs are covered by health insurance up to and including dental care, eye care etc.