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New health insurance Act Empowered to Regulate Service Providers – NHIA Official

National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), said the new National Health Insurance Act has empowered the authority to better regulate the service providers, that is, the health facilities, Health Maintenance Organisation (HMOs), and further protect the interest of enrollees in the insurance scheme.

This is just as the authority has called on the public to embrace the new Group Individual and Family Social Health Insurance Programme (GIFSHIP) policy scheme which has made provision for every Nigerian to have health insurance.

Recall President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the NHIA Bill into law on May 19, 2022. The Act repealed the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Act and made health insurance mandatory for Nigerians.

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Speaking at the Ikeja Stakeholders Forum held at NECA House, Ikeja, the Lagos Zonal Coordinator, NHIA, Mr. Olufemi Akingbade, said the authority is developing digital system that will make billing and settlement very seamless. The system will make registration, medical records of enrolees and bill settlement claims readily available to avoid disputes.

Akingbade also revealed that the authority is currently migrating from the semi-manual to digital operation. He said, “We are developing a system that will actually take it from that beginning of registration, retrieval when you get to the hospital so that there will be no issue of bringing your ID card. “In each hospital, we will have a terminal that once you give them your NHIA number, it calls up your data. Along the way, whatever you pass through at the hospital will be recorded, which is the Electronic medical record. With it, dealing with medical records will be easy.

“This is because if you have been treated with malaria and we have a code for malaria treatment, there is a price that is fixed for that malaria treatment, such that once they click the code, the price will come out. It is not something that anybody can dispute. When the billing gets to HMO, there will not be any dispute. In terms of claims management; also, the system will take care of everything from registration, electronic medical records and also claims payment”.

Speaking also on the benefits of the new health insurance act at the stakeholders forum, Lagos State Coordinator, NHIA, Ikeja Office, Dr Bethuel Kasimu Abraham, said it has empowered the authority to be able to take punitive actions against health facilities and HMOs who commits any infraction. He said hitherto, the authority had limited power to sanction the stakeholders of the scheme.