NHIS active membership rises

Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) active membership has risen from 10.8 million in 2018 to over 12 million in 2019.

Ashanti Region recorded the highest active membership of 2.2 million followed by the Greater Accra region with 1.7 million.

The Brong Ahafo region scored third with active membership of 1.5 million and the Eastern was placed fourth with 1.3 million respectively. The Upper West region had the lowest active membership of 0.47 million.

In view of the current standings, 79.3 percent constituted members who had renewed their membership within the last year with the Ashanti region recording the highest number of renewals followed by the Greater Accra and Brong Ahafo regions.

Ending 2019, the Informal sector which constitutes the only fee paying NHIS membership category represented 34.1 percent of the active members, an increase from 31.5 percent in the previous year.

NHIS members who are considered as the extremely poor (Indigents), classified by the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection represented 5.6 percent, an increase from 3.7 percent in the previous year.

New members constituted 20.7 percent of the active membership with the Greater Accra region recording the highest number followed by the Ashanti and Northern regions.

Remarkably, female members continue to dominate the active membership bracket with a national outlook of 58.6 percent against 41.4 percent males.

The Central Region topped the list of female members representing 59.8 percent followed by the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions with a tie of 59.1 percent.

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) remains the lead vehicle to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Ghana.

This latest development reinforces the NHIA Chief Executive Officer, (CEO), Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby’s account that the Authority’s major concern is to increase its membership to reposition Ghana in line with the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

‘The main thing we all want is Universal Health Coverage for Ghanaians which means we need to increase the membership coverage, which means we need to realize the benefit package with the health needs of the citizens of Ghana and which means the Scheme must be financially sustainable so that we achieve financial risk protection for the people of Ghana.”

“Ghana’s NHIS is extremely adversely selected. We have those who need Health Insurance or the Scheme and the healthy at the moment as taking out, we have to change that narrative to balance it out.”

She said, “We are looking at ways to partnering with various agencies, organizations to make the requirement of having NHIS active membership almost mandatory across the country that will get us the 100 percent coverage we are looking for.”

“We have a lot of innovations going on and during our tenure I think we will be able to show that the Health Insurance is alive kicking, very vibrant and more importantly responsive to the needs of the people of Ghana.”