NHIA responds to Minority claim that scheme is collapsing

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The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has responded to a claim by the Minority in Parliament that the health insurance scheme is collapsing.

At a press conference in Accra on Tuesday May 10 addressed by Juaboso lawmaker, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, the Minority said the struggles of the scheme is not not because of inadequate funds or inadequate legislation but “purely as the result of poor public financial management of the fund.”

He said this at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday May 10.

He said “What makes matters even worse is that his lies about the replacement of NHIA cards with Ghana Card are also false. This Year’s allocation provides some GHS54.60million for the printing of some 2.6million NHIA cards at GHS21.00 each.

“We cannot continue to lie our way into solving critical national problems. We cannot also continue to ignore flagrant violations of laws enacted to ensure good healthcare for all Ghanaians. We cannot allow the future of the scheme to be hijacked by Nana Akufo-Addo and his law-breaking Finance Minister.

“The National Health Insurance Scheme is collapsing not because of inadequate funds or inadequate legislation but purely as the result of poor public financial management of the fund.

“In concluding we will like to remind our bible quoting Finance Minister to read what Jesus said in Mark 12:17, ‘…Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s…’ and do accordingly. Give funds collected in the name of the National Health Insurance Scheme to the National Health Insurance Scheme period.”

The Management of the NHIA in a statement responding to the claim of the Minority said “Collections of the National Health Insurance Levies (NHIL) into the Consolidated Fund occur over a period and therefore releases into the NHIF may delay sometimes. In the Allocation Formula approved by the Parliament of Ghana on April 5, 2022, an amount of GH1, 393.14 million was duly referenced as the total amount released by the Ministry of Finance into the NHIF within the year 2021.

“However, after the application of standard accounting reporting principles by the NHIA, an amount of GH1, 266.14 million was treated as payment for liabilities of the government to the NHIA. This left an amount of GH127 million which in the standard accounting reporting framework was attributed to the 2021 financial year.

“NHIA’s Investment cover for claims however has been declining since 2009. For the year 2014, the NHIA Investment Fund had a closing balance of GH104.32 million which declined to GH77 million as of the end of 2016 with disinvestments of GH39.82 million in that same year. Investment cover as of the end of December 2021, stood at GH100.72 million. It is instructive to note that there have been no disinvestments since 2017 till date. This cover equates to 1.06 months of claims should the Scheme rely solely on its investments.

“By the NHIA’s claims payment arrangement, the Scheme will always be in arrears to its Service Providers. By an agreement, providers have 60 days to submit their claims whilst the NHIA has 90 days to vet, process, and pay. Based on this, an accurate arrears position will be difficult to be determined at any point in time as this will depend on when claims are submitted to the NHIA. For example, between 25 –
30% of healthcare providers have submitted their October to December 2021 (last quarter) claims as of March 2022. It will be quite erroneous to state emphatically that the NHIA owes GH2.5 billion to providers for claims submitted to March 2022.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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