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National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Registration Guide
NHIS Registration – National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is an organization that provides health insurance in Nigeria. It was established in 1999 by Act 35 of the Constitution. Its primary goal is to provide accessible healthcare to all Nigerians notwithstanding their social status or income.
The NHIS offer two main packages which are the Health Management Organization (HMO) and the Out of Pocket (OOP). The HMO is a more popular and better plan. It covers both the tiers of government and private sectors since the HMOs are being liaised with by the government to provide health care services to NHIS subscribers.
Benefits of NHIS
The following are some of the benefits of subscribing to the NHIS:
- Hospital care in a standard ward for a limited period of 21 days a year.
- Maternity care for up to four live births for every insured contributor.
- Preventive care immunization as it applies in the National Immunization Programme.
- Consultation with specialists such as physicians, pediatrics, gynecologists, surgeons, etc.
- Health education, family planning, antenatal and postnatal care.
- Out-patient care.
Programmes Offered by the NHIS
NHIS offers a whole range of programmes that cater to different categories of the population. All of the programmes are divided into three categories: formal sector, informal sector, and vulnerable groups. Here is a brief explanation of each of them:
1. Formal Sector
The formal sector provides insurance to companies and their employees, as well as to ordinary citizens. There are three sub-categories in this sector:
- Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Programme.
- Vital Contributors Social Health Insurance Programme.
- National Mobile Health Insurance Programme.
The Formal Sector Health Insurance Programme is mandatory for all Nigerian companies that employ more than 10 people, including civil service organizations and the private sector. The collective pool of contributions is filled by both employers and employees. The funds from it cover the medical expenses of the employees, their spouses and four children below 18.
The Vital Contributors Social Health Insurance Programme is voluntary for anyone, including legal residents, retirees and the companies that employ less than ten people. The collective pool is filled in the same way as the previous scheme. However, it only covers the medical expenses of the insured person.
National Mobile Health Insurance Programme is an option available for any Nigerian citizen with a mobile phone that is older than 18. It allows anyone to use their phone in order to enroll and pay for their health insurance.
2. Informal Sector
This sector provides health insurance to higher educational institutions, communities, and public-private partnerships. This means health insurance for students, members of communities and partnerships. The collective pool is filled with payments from institutions and their members.
3. Vulnerable Groups
The vulnerable groups include pregnant women, children under the age of five, retirees, aged people, and prisoners. The collective pool is filled by governments of all levels, civil society organizations and development partners.
How to Register for NHIS
The registration process is different depending on the types of programmes. The following are the procedures for each programme:
For the Formal Sector:
- The registration is to be done through accredited HMOs.
- The processing of the health insurance programme takes about 90 days (3 months) before the participant can access healthcare services.
- The registration and payment cover the employer, the spouse and four biological children below the age of 18.
- An identity card will be issued as proof of registration.
For the Informal Sector:
- Registration is done through accredited HMO’s.
- The registration payment covers only the individual concerned.
- An identification card will be issued after registration.
- It takes 90 days after registration for before accessing medical care.
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