Health Insurance is an insurance policy that ensures that one should get cashless treatment or expense reimbursement, in case you fall ill or face some kind of health-related issue.
Health insurance plans in Nigeria reimburses the insured for medical and surgical expenses arising from any type of critical illness or injury that leads to hospitalization.
Importance of Health Insurance
Getting a health insurance policy for yourself and your family is important because medical care is expensive, especially in the private sector.
Hospitalization can burn a hole in your pocket and derail your finances. It is even tougher if the person who brings in the money is the one in a hospital bed. All these can be avoided by just paying a small annual premium which would lessen your stress in case of medical emergencies.
A good health insurance policy would usually cover expenses made towards doctor consultation fees, costs towards medical tests, hospitalization costs and even post-hospitalization recovery costs to a certain extent.
How to Get Health Insurance in Nigeria
There are two types of health insurance available to Nigerians. These are the the private-owned health insurance companies ( available for those that can’t access the public health insurance) and government-owned health insurance scheme offer their services to the public.
Here are the five best ways to get health insurance in Nigeria;
1. Through the National Health Insurance Scheme
The scheme was established to provide social health insurance in Nigeria where health care services of contributors are paid from the common pool of funds contributed by the participants of the Scheme. The participants are required to pay a fixed regular amount. The funds are then pooled, allowing the Health Maintenance Organisations(HMOs) to pay for those needing medical attention.
How do I enrol?
To create an account with NHIS, you can either visit their official website of National Health Insurance Scheme Nigeria at www.nhisonline.com.ng or dial *616# (all networks), and you will see a menu appear on your screen.
Find the information you need from the list of options, or you can visit the nearest HMOs office to you. Fill out the necessary form and pay the required fee and submit it and you are registered.
Note: If you belong to the formal sector or a member of the uniformed services (police, armed forces, etc.), you would have been pre-registered already. Employees of companies with at least 10 or more staff and students of tertiary institutions are registered by their organizations/institutions for the scheme.
2. Through Glo National Mobile Health Insurance Product
Mobile network provider, Glo has collaborated with NHIS to make health insurance affordable for all. It is an affordable insurance plan for medical treatment with a premium of only N250 every week, which adds up to N1,000 monthly and totalling up to N12,000 yearly.
How can I Join?
If you’re a Glo mobile network subscriber, you can dial *616# on your mobile phone and be instantly admitted to the Glo Health platform where you can follow a simple registration process.
3. Through an Out-of-pocket Health Insurance Plan
This is the most expensive health insurance, this is a plan where you are required to pay for the health services from your private pocket in a lump sum at an agreed settlement at once.
4. Through a Membership Organization
If you belong to a union, alumni association, professional organization, or any other large group, you may be able to purchase health insurance through it at group rates. Being affiliated to a group or an association will expose to discount plans which would save you money.
5. Through an Online Health Insurance Brokerage
Online health insurance brokerage offer to help you compare health insurance plans or get the best available plan based on the information you give them.
The major difference between a health insurance broker and a health insurance company is that brokers have the freedom to offer plans from across the entire small business health insurance marketplace, instead of being limited to options from just one health insurance company.
The licensed agents who work for health insurance brokers can answer your questions and connect you to small business health insurance plans that meet your preferences regarding monthly premiums and annual deductible costs, network coverage, and additional benefits.
Overall, using a health insurance broker allows you to browse around and explore more options for group coverage to see if you could save money for your small business.