Health Insurance: Committee harps on pluralistic financing system for aged people




Chairman, Ministerial Committee for Provision of Health Insurance for the Retirees and Elderly in Nigeria, Linus Awute has harped on the need for pluralistic financing system for effective care for the ageing population.

Awute, a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, stated this while submitting the report of his Committee which was inaugurated on 30th November 2020 by the Minister of Health Dr. Emmanuel Osagie Ehanire, to promote and improve the health of ageing citizens through the provision of health insurance.

According to Awute,  the report did not end with recommendations only, but also provided the implementation strategy, stressing that the Pluralistic Financing System involve seven innovative sources of funding such as General Revenue; Sin tax; Telecom tax; Mandatory (social) health Insurance Contribution; Diaspora Remittances; Petroleum Subsidy Reinvestment and Aviation Tax.

He said the guideline for implementation is detailed in the report and that the process will be driven by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), under the new NHIA-Law, adding that the work of the committee or the progress made underscores the value of the new NHIA-Law which now requires a strong political will to forerun the success of his committee’s recommendations.

“Committee has recommended a Pluralistic Financing System involving seven (7) innovative sources of funding such as General Revenue; Sin tax; Telecom tax; Mandatory (social) health Insurance Contribution; Diaspora Remittances; Petroleum Subsidy Reinvestment; Aviation Tax.

“Each recommendation had been revaluated to remove any second and third order effects that might preclude efficiency in effective programme implementation.

“We did not end with recommendations only, we have also provided the implementation strategy. Our report lays emphasis on method of enrolment of older persons, the report recognizes some critical stake holders and acknowledges their roles. Of utmost importance is the fact that we have laid greater emphasis on the financial risk protection for the older persons and this is where the issue of funding comes in.

“We had accordingly researched deep by benchmarking, through the study tour of three countries plus reports received from other climes, we have therefore reached the conclusion that no society can fund and sustain the funding of health care from only one source, hence our recommendation is premised on the need to maintain a balance between the perceived need for medical care and the acceptable level of national expenditures on health care in Nigeria,” he said.

He further stated that older people can live and live a healthier life in a situation where health insurance enrolment and funding are both made mandatory.

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