Prof. Mohammed Sambo, former Director-General of National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), has explained how youths, aged 18 to 25 years, can access healthcare insurance services in the country.
He also explained how retired civil servants who attained the age of 60 years and left service can also access health insurance under the NHIA.
He told our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday that “government has provided platforms to enable youths and every Nigerian.
to enjoy healthcare services.”
The clarification followed concerns by retired civil servants covered by the scheme, who said that at the attainment of 60 years, the system will automatically drop them.
Others also expressed concern that while still in service, their children/dependents who attained the age of 18 years are also automatically dropped, complaining that such category of persons are dropped from the system when they really needed the services.
Sambo, therefore, explained that NHIA had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to give members health insurance cover during service.
He said that the aim is to ensure that youth corps members are integrated into the scheme to enable them access healthcare during the service year.
He pointed out that the authority was working on the presidential mandate of leaving no one behind in the health insurance scheme.
He added that “for the purpose of continuity, NYSC members are to enroll into the Group Individual Family Social Health Insurance Programme (GIFSHIP) after the service year.
“The youth corps members will just migrate from the NYSC insurance to GIFSHIP, where a token will be paid and when they get employed, they will join the formal sector programme.”
Sambo further explained that the introduction of GIFSHIP was the game changer that held the prospect of bringing every Nigerian into the health insurance ecosystem.
He said that “with GIFSHIP, the authority is leaving no one behind in its determination to see that all Nigerians have access to healthcare. It accommodates everyone.
“GIFSHIP is health insurance that is taken up and paid for by groups, individuals and families that are not covered by any NHIA platforms.
“It provides opportunity for affordable individual enrollment, families or group of people in which any of the enrollments can also
be sponsored by well-meaning individuals or organisations.
“Also, when a youth clocks 18 years, he/she will be captured in the Tertiary Institutions Social Health Insurance Programme (TISHIP).”
The TISHIP security system is a programme where the healthcare of students in tertiary institutions is paid from funds pooled through
the contributions of students, with a view to creating conducive learning environment.
Designed to provide easy access to healthcare for all tertiary institution students, the aim of the TISHIP is to cater for the health needs of tertiary institution students who, due to their studentship, cannot benefit from other health insurance programmes.
The former NHIS boss, therefore, said that the scheme has many programmes designed to take care of the health needs of every Nigerian,
leaving no one behind.
He urged all to take advantage of the programmes to improve their health status and to ensure the attainment of Universal Health