In line with Government’s objective to accelerate the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and bridge the access inequity gap, the Governing Board and Management of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has announced the introduction of instant healthcare for all persons aged 70 years and above across the country.
The policy eliminates the one-month waiting period for all subscribers aged 70 years and above to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
From 6 PM today, Monday, September 26, 2022, all the elderly, aged 70 years and above, who register on to the scheme can visit accredited NHIS hospitals and all their health needs will be taken care of, a statement issued by the NHIA said on Tuesday September 27.
Since the establishment of the NHIS in 2003 to promote access to equitable and quality healthcare for all residents (citizens and non-citizens), the Government of Ghana has made substantial progress toward its goal of universal health care through innovations to expand the operations of the scheme while ensuring its financial sustainability.
The scheme since its inception, some 19 years ago, introduced the mandatory one-month waiting period for all categories of members, except pregnant women and children under 5 years, who enrolled on to the scheme. This measure is to curb the abuse of the scheme by potential free-riders.
The policy affected persons who are aged 70 years and above from accessing instant healthcare on enrolling onto the scheme. During the mandatory one month waiting period for these aged new enrollees [including Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Pensioners], they are burdened with out-of-pocket payment in order to access healthcare until the 30 days waiting period is exhausted.
In the light of peculiar circumstances that elderly people find themselves, especially with issues relating to health, the Dr. Okoe Boye-led NHIA with inspiration from His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, through the honorable Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, with effect from Monday, September 26, 2022 exempts all persons aged 70 years and above from the one-month waiting period on enrollment onto the scheme. By this, persons aged 70 years and above who enroll onto the scheme will have instant healthcare and shall access the full benefits package from NHIS accredited health service providers.