This means that about 40 per cent of the population are members and have valid NHIS cards, have paid their premium and can access health care.
Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, Chief Executive Officer, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) attributed the increase in active membership to the introduction of the NHIS Mobile Renewal Service platform, on December 19 2018.
She said the mobile renewal marked the turning point of the total digitalisation of the system of enrolment of new NHIS clients, renewal of membership, submission, processing and payment of claims to support efforts of the government towards universal health coverage.
The renewal platform was introduced in line with government’s digitisation drive to make the NHIS more accessible to its members and also improve on the Scheme’s financial management.
With the introduction of the NHIS Mobile Renewal Service, on short code *929# over 5 million people have taken advantage and renewed their membership at the comfort of their homes, workplace, market, etc. without having to physically visit the Scheme offices.
She said NHIS Mobile Renewal Service had saved time and resources and substantially cut down on the operational cost of the Authority.
There are also no more long queues at the NHIS district offices thereby creating enough space for staff there to attend to pregnant and indigent members and also promote the Scheme in the communities.
Dr Dsane-Selby said the Scheme had become more attractive to the extent that members who left werereturning thus increasing the number of persons being covered in line with Universal Health Coverage (UHC) vision of the government.
Combined with the generation of E-Receipts, the much-touted innovation tracks payments to streamline the operations of the NHIS and make it more efficient.
The Mobile Membership Renewal Service puts a check on providers by reducing the chances of false claims generation through the option available to members to confirm or deny attendance after every facility visit requiring the use of the NHIS cards, she said.
It has also simplified Offline Verification NHIS provider facilities to verify membership validity with the aid of a mobile phone leading to prompt payment of claims.
Dr Dsane-Selby said the attainment of UHC required coordinated efforts across multiple sectors that would help improve positive health outcomes.
“The Authority is collaborating with the National Identification Authority (NIA) to allow registered members to use the Ghana Card to access healthcare services under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).”
In 2020, she said the NHIA would embark on stakeholder engagements to discuss how the scheme could made more viable.
Currently, the NHIA has licensed 14 Private Scheme Operators comprising 13 Private Commercial and one Mutual Health Insurance Schemes.
The NHIA has increased the credentialed providers from a little over 3,000 to 4,600 in all the 16 regions of the country, bringing geographical access right to the doorstep and reviewing the benefit package is ensure the full UHC package is given to the citizens of Ghana.