By: KALD & Rita Nedjoh|Voltaonlinegh.com|
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is set to roll out an innovative service which would bring much convenience to the renewal of membership on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the country.
The service which is part of the NHIS Mobile Membership Renewal and Authentication Project being implemented in partnership with the ILO Impact Insurance Programme funded by the French agency, AfD, provides a simple but unique solution by which NHIS subscribers can electronically renew their membership using mobile phones.
President Akufo-Addo is expected to outdoor the service on Wednesday following a successful piloting in the Asuogyaman and West Mamprusi districts of the Eastern and Upper West regions respectively, where over 21,500 subscribers renewed their membership electronically.
Speaking at a sensitization forum for Journalists in the Volta Region ahead of the roll out, Mr. Osward Essuah-Mensah, the Deputy Director of Corporate Affairs at NHIA, explained the mobile renewal service is accessible via a dedicated mobile short code of *929# available on Vodafone, MTN, and AirtelTigo networks.
He indicated that, the system will among other things enable NHIS subscribers to also check their validity status on the scheme and also receive advance notification on the expiration of their membership for them to promptly do the renewal in the comfort of their homes with the prescribed premium deducted from their mobile money accounts.
This, Mr. Essuah-Mensah noted would lessen the stress NHIS clients go through to renew their membership at the district offices, while relieving their staff of the huge numbers they have to attend to on daily basis.
He told journalists at the forum held at NHIA Regional office in Ho that;
“About 70 per cent of our clients who visit our offices go there for renewal, so with the introduction of this innovative service, these people will no longer have to travel to our offices but just with the help of their phones enjoy the same service in the comfort of their homes without any hustle.”
“What this means is that, we are also cutting down our operational cost, because the frequency at which we have to replace our printers, tonners and other consumables will drastically reduce.”
The operationalization of this service, according to the Corporate Affairs Executive would also inure to the benefit of health care providers, as they can promptly authenticate the validity of clients NHIS membership; while it helps the authority to reduce operational cost, increase scheme penetration and revenue.
“For us to be efficient and reduce leakages, we have to move from the manual system to the electronic system where registration and payment are done electronically and claims are also managed electronically” he added.
With an overall objective of attaining a 100 per cent universal healthcare coverage in the country by 2030, where everyone in Ghana should have access to healthcare through the scheme, the NHIA envisaged a 20 per cent increase in renewal/enrollment within the first year of this mobile renewal system.
The Deputy Director in charge of Membership and Regional Operations at NHIA, Mr. Raymond Avinu on his part tasked media practitioners to use their platforms to educate the public on the service and how to access the mobile renewal system without any hitches.
Mr. Joseph Homenya, Volta Regional Director of NHIA expressed the readiness of his staff and the health care providers for the roll out of the system, as he assured of a sustained public education to ensure smooth utilization of the system.