NHIS Nigeria (the Nigerian Health Insurance Scheme) was established with the aim of making good health services accessible and affordable to Nigerians. The NHIS was established in Nigeria under Act 35 of 1999 constitution. NHIS functions by providing for the health care service of a registered contributor paid through the accumulation of funds that were contributed by other members of the scheme. Every member of NHIS pays a particular amount of money; these monies are gathered and then used to pay the medical bills of contributors seeking medical assistance.
This medical bills are paid by the Health Maintenance Organizations– NHIS is more like a health insurance where registered members pay a token at intervals and in turn get the required health service they need.
NHIS Nigeria was established under NHIS Act in the year 2005. It offers health security to members who contribute a token at intervals towards medical service. The purpose of this scheme is to solve the financial barrier of Nigerian citizens and help improve the health of Nigerians by giving them access to affordable healthcare. There are various programs under the NHIS, the programs are:
- Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Program: This is an insurance program available for individuals working in the public sector and Organized Private Sectors in Nigeria. A company is termed an organized private sector if it has 10 or more staff.
- Voluntary Contributors Social Health Insurance Program: this insurance program is for people who are not working in the formal sector and do not belong to organizations or institutions that are covered under the NHIS.
- Tertiary Social Health Insurance Program: this program is for students that are in tertiary institutions.
- Community Based Social Health Insurance Program: this program is made available for people in the villages and small groups with 1000 or more members.
- Pupil in Public Primary School Social Health Insurance Program.
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Benefit of NHIS
Some of the benefits of NHIS are:
- You stand a chance to receive out-patient care. Which means that you stand a chance to receive treatment without having to stay overnight in the hospital, you will be provided with the requirements you need to get you better such as drugs, injections and many more.
- Every insured contributor in the formal sector program will receive maternity care for up to 4 live births and also additional care if any stillbirth occurs.
- You gain access to prescribed drugs and diagnostic tests.
- Consultation to doctors and specialists such as physicians, obstetricians, gynecologists, radiologists, surgeons etc.
- Access to preventive care including immunization.
- Premature babies that require incubation will be incubated for 12 weeks starting from the date of delivery and live births also requiring incubation will be incubated for a period of 12 weeks starting from the date of delivery.
- Eye examination and provision of spectacles minus contact lenses.
- Provision of preventive dental care and pain relief including root canal treatment.
How to check your NHIS status
To check your NHIS status all you need to do is to dial *929# on your mobile device, choose option 1, click on NHIS card and then type in your NHIS membership card number.
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How to enroll to NHIS Nigeria
If you are working under the Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Program (FSSHIP), you do not need to enroll on NHIS Nigeria because this will already be done by your employer. Usually workers under the Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Program have 5% of their salaries deducted by their employers to pay for their NHIS. To enroll to NHIS, you need to follow the steps below:
- Visit the NHIS website at https://www.nhis.gov.ng/
- On the homepage, you will see ‘register’, click on it
- Enter your details on the space provided for it such as your NHIS membership number, surname, your date of birth and when you are done filling the space provided, click on ‘submit’.
- Provide your email address to create an account and create a strong password for your account.
After completing the steps above, you have fully registered to NHIS online.
If you are not a member of FSSHIP and you want to register to NHIS, you can contribute voluntarily by following the steps below:
- Visit any Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) of your choice and buy a voucher.
- The next step is to visit the NHIS website and click on ‘Voluntary contributors” on the homepage.
- Click on ‘register’ and provide all the necessary information required of you.
- You will also be required to provide the name of your local government and your state.
- Once you are done with the step above you will receive a list primary healthcare facilities near you that are accredited by NHIS, choose the one you prefer. If you did not receive this list, you can go ahead and choose a different LGA or state.
- Provide a preferred payment method.
You can also register for NHIS Nigeria by dialling the USSD code *616# and then fill out the information required of you. You will receive a message containing your e-ID once your registration is successful.
Everybody will need health care at one point or another but health care doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive to get. That is the aim of the NHIS Nigeria program; they want to help solve some of the financial barrier most Nigerians experience when they want to access quality health care service.