Health Insurance registers more clients in Upper East Region

stethoscope2The Upper East Regional National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has issued 93,013 identification cards to its clients since the roll out of Biometric Membership System (BMS) last December.

This is against the membership of the old system which was 627,659 representing 55 per cent of 1,135,310 estimated population.

Mr Amos Akurigu, Upper East Regional Director of NHIA, said though the new system faced challenges such as overcrowding at the district offices because people were rushing to change old cards for new ones, the situation would soon stabilize.

Mr Akurigu said this during an address at the 2014 annual performance review meeting of staff of the scheme in Bolgatanga.
He said the Authority had adopted a 24-hour shift system for staff to deal with teeming crowds at the district offices as one measure to reduce crowd.

He said sensitization was ongoing for members of public, especially those whose old cards were still active to wait until they were expired before they renewed them.

Other measures are opening new centres to ease congestion and institutional registration such as schools and workplaces.
Mr Akurigu said the scheme mobilized GH¢1,455,642.25 as premium as against a target of GH¢1,612,273 for 2014.

For 2015 performance expectation, the region targets to increase by 8 per cent active membership estimated at 677,872 from 627,659 and to increase coverage by 15 per cent from 63,428 in 2014 to 72,942 in 2015.

On challenges of claim payment, Mr Akurigu said he was optimistic that despite the Authority’s indebtedness to clients and service providers regarding claims, it paid GH¢10,400,506 and assured   providers that by the second quarter of 2015 the remaining claims would be paid and urged providers to ensure timely submission of claims.

He said plans were afoot to start a capitation programme in the Upper East Region to address problems of delayed payments of claims to service providers.

As part of plans to address this, he said the NHIA had introduced a payment mechanism for providers  to take care of essential services at Out Patient  Departments ( OPDs)  whilst they waited to be reimbursed for in-patient services.

Source: GNA

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