The National Health Insurance Authority has launched the ‘NHIS Multiyear Renewal’ system.
The new product is to allow NHIS members the option to renew their cards after 2, 3 or 4 years, depending on their choice and eligibility, Chief Executive of the NHIA, Mr. Nathaniel Otoo said at a press conference on Friday.
With this, NHIS card holders may not have to visit the NHIS office every year to renew their cards. This will reduce the huge number of members who flood the district offices just to renew their cards.
Chief Executive of the NHIA, Mr. Nathaniel Otoo, said the idea of a multiyear renewal was conceived after taking note of the number of people who visit the NHIA district offices all over the country to register or renew their NHIS membership.
“We took note of the long queues, time spent in these queues and the productive work hours these people might have been sacrificing to get an NHIS card. Our quest to make the process convenient and bring relief to our members got us to fashion out this product. At the NHIA, we believe we must innovate to solve our everyday problems,” he said.
Members, who opt for the multiyear renewal, will also enjoy some discounts on the processing fee they pay. For a normal one-year registration, the member pays the full processing fee of 5 cedis together with the premium rate for the district. In Accra, premium is mainly 22 cedis. So this totals 27 cedis for a normal membership renewal in Accra.
If the member opts for a 2 or 3 year ‘multiyear renewal,’ discounts of 25%, and 50% respectively, Mr Otoo said, apply on the 5 cedi processing fee.
The NHIA boss, mentioned that all categories of NHIS members are eligible and can benefit from this new product, except pregnant women and SSNIT contributors.
This he explained that, pregnancy does not last beyond 9 months so multiyear renewal will not apply. However, he said pregnant women will continue to be covered under the Free Maternal Care program.
With the case of SSNIT contributors, Mr Otoo said because they do not pay premiums, they are exempted from the Multiyear Renewal as after subscription, it will be difficult to reverse their membership should their monthly SSNIT contributions cease because they have left employment.
People in the informal sector, thus, premium paying members of the NHIS are those who will mainly benefit from the new system. Persons under 18 years and the aged, LEAP beneficiaries and persons in other vulnerable groups are also eligible.
The Chief Executive also assured health service providers of prompt payment of their claims. According to the Authority, it is working around the clock to ensure all paper works concerning claims are handled with stipulated time and disbursement of funds made promptly.
He was hopeful the challenge of delays in payment of claims will not be repeated the previous year. He was hopeful that the authority will continue maintain and improve upon the relationships with service providers and ensure the timely payment of claims.