NHIS to extend membership renewal period

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) will soon commence what it calls a multi-year membership renewal system, where health insurance policy holders will not have to visit the office every year to renew their membership and take new cards.

Under this new system, NHIS card holders will now have the choice of renewing their cards after every two or three years as they deem convenient, at a slightly discounted cost.

Chief Executive of the NHIA, Nathaniel Otoo, made this known last Friday when he visited some district offices of the Scheme in the Greater Accra Region as part of his monitoring schedule.

According to him, the demand for the NHIS keeps growing and the Authority is using technology to make the operations of the Scheme smoother, more convenient and more efficient.

Mr Otoo said the optional multi-year renewal system is intended to make it more convenient for people to remain active members of the Scheme.

At the Osu Klottey office, Mr Otoo was met by hundreds of people who were at the registration centre to either register to join the Scheme or renew their membership.

After interacting with them and listening to their complaints, he assured them of the NHIA’s resolve to continue offering solutions that will make their experience with the Scheme worthwhile.

He revealed that multi-year renewal was one of the solutions to improve the membership experience of the NHIS.

Mr Otoo also observed that the multi-year renewal will bolster NHIA’s efforts at reducing the crowd situation at the registration centres.

The NHIA boss mentioned that 4.13 million new registrations have been undertaken between January and August, almost equaling the target for the entire year with one more quarter to end 2016.

An additional 2.6 million cards, he noted, were printed as replacements because majority of those holding the cards had either misplaced or defaced them.

The reprints or card replacements, Mr Otoo explained, was one of the major factors that led to the temporary shortage of consumables the NHIA suffered.

He therefore urged NHIS members to ensure that their cards were properly kept to avoid necessitating card replacements.“The real cost of the card is subsidized by government, so if the cards are not properly kept and we have to do replacements, it has financial implications for the NHIA,” Mr Otoo said.

The NHIS was set up by an Act of Parliament to provide financial risk protection against the cost of basic healthcare to all residents in Ghana.T

he Scheme currently has a membership of 11.3 million people being served by a network of about 4,650 healthcare providers across the country.