• Monday, May 27, 2024
businessday logo


FG to make health insurance mandatory for travellers

Ultimate HMO begins diaspora health insurance in US, UK

The Federal Government is considering a policy that would make health insurance mandatory for travellers in a push for the full implementation of the mandatory health insurance law.

David Barau, the public relations officer of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS), disclosed this during an engagement meeting on health governance reporting organised by USAID in Abuja on Tuesday.

Read also: Healthcare in Nigeria: A game of Russian roulette

He said stakeholders and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) were discussing the proposal which would require travellers entering or leaving Nigeria to show proof of their health insurance.

“Government wants to start from the airport, so those going out and coming in will show health insurance as a travel requirement”, he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the National Health Insurance Authority Bill into law in May 2022, making health insurance mandatory for all Nigerians.

In the same year, the NHIA disclosed that it was advocating to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to consider making health insurance one of the requirements for Nigerians to open a bank account.

The NHIA also urged the government to allocate an oil bloc to cater for the 83 million vulnerable Nigerians specified in the Act and approve the one kobo per second telecommunication tax for the vulnerable group.

Read also: Revitalisation of Nigeria primary healthcare receives boost with WHO-private sector pact

“Every Nigerian must have health insurance, but we can’t stand on the streets to compel Nigerians, we will look for innovative approaches. We are considering many options”, Emmanuel Ononokpono, public affairs manager, NHIA, said during a health conference in 2022.

A significant percentage of Nigerians still do not have health insurance and pay out-of-pocket for healthcare. A 2023 survey conducted by NOI Polls revealed that only 17 percent of the country’s population has health insurance.