10 advantages of National Health Insurance Scheme…

The exact topic of this article first appeared on www.nimedhealth.com.ng

Health Insurance is social security system that affords individuals essential and basic health services on the contribution of a certain amount or token to the appropriate authorities at regular intervals.

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is a statutory body founded under the Act 35 of 1999- established by the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide Nigerians accessible healthcare services at an affordable cost. NHIS was also established to improve the health outcomes of populations in Nigeria.

This corporate body is responsible for setting the rules that guide the operation of the scheme, as well as the running of the scheme’s programs and benefits.

The establishment of this National Scheme in 2005 was influenced by these factors:

Overall bad condition of healthcare services throughout the nation where Nigerians where Nigerians were footing all the cost of Medicare and paying out of pocket.

The over-dependence on health facilities provided by government (government owned health centers).

Poor incorporation of private health facilities into the health care delivery system of the government.

The decreased funding of the nation’s health care, even in times of increasing costs.

What Programs are run by the National Health Insurance Scheme?

The National Health Insurance Scheme run a lot of programs. The programs are classified into two- the Formal Sector, Informal Sector and the Vulnerable Group Social Health Insurance Programs.

The formal sector programs are designed for employees in private and public organizations.

This type of program also covers staffs and spouse with maximum of four biological children (who are below the ages of 18).

The informal sector on the other hand, consist of the following: Tertiary (for students in tertiary institutions), Community (for community members), Public Primary Pupils (for primary school children between ages 6-12 years who are from a lower socio-economic class.

Vulnerable Group Social Health Insurance Programs was created for the disabled and for people with special needs such as the deaf, dumb and blind or people who can’t work due to one reason or the other.

10 advantages of National Health Insurance Scheme

What are the Advantages of the NHIS?

As a Nigerian enrolled in the NHIS, you’ll get to:

1. Receive Out-patient care:

Outpatient care wouldn’t require you staying in the hospital overnight to receive treatment. It includes provision of drugs, injections and drips.

2. Receive Maternity Care:

Enrolling in NHIS as a woman, especially of reproductive age will guarantee you maternity care, including labour and delivery up to 4 births. However, this exception is for only those enrolled in the formal sector social health insurance scheme program.

3. Receive Covering/Incubation for live births:

In addition to maternity care, NHIS covers all live births requiring incubation for a period of 12 weeks after delivery. Also included in the incubation or covering period are preterm and prematured babies.

4. Receive Essential drugs:

Persons on NHIS will be able to receive essential drugs as well as be able to perform laboratory and diagnostic testing.

5. Seek Consulting Services:

You can also go to seek medical advice or consultation with clinical specialists, physicians, gynecologist, orthopedic surgeons, physiotherapists, radiologists, psychiatrists, dental surgeons, ophthalmologists etc.

6. Receive Dental care:

Enrolling for the NHIS also gives you the license to receive preventive dental care including dental health education, consultation and more.

10 advantages of National Health Insurance Scheme
Being on NHIS has so much advantages and benefits

7. Receive a range of Prostheses:

In cases of broken limbs and fractures, a range of prostheses can be made provision for. This is however limited to artificial limbs manufactured in Nigeria.

8. Receive Eye Care:

Provision of eye checkup, examination, care and treatment. Also included is the provision of low spectacles, but the exception of contact lenses.

9. Annual Checkup:

NHIS also grants its members medical checkup (not related to illnesses or diseases) which is done yearly.

10. Receive Preventive care:

You will be able to receive preventive care including immunization and vaccination based on the National Programme on Immunization. Also included is family planning services and health education.

How much does the National Insurance Scheme cost?

Interested in enrolling for the NHIS?

Read this.

For employees working in public service corporations or private organizations, the cost is usually footed by the government. However, the cost for other programs vary.

For spouses and children, the cost for each enrollment is #9,000. For those who fall amongst the vulnerable group interested in enrollment, registration per head ranges between #10,000-15,000.


There, you have it- 10 advantages of National Health Insurance Scheme. Keep in mind to always prioritize your health; as health is wealth. Enrolling in a National Health Insurance Scheme will assist you with health bills- it provides accessible and affordable health services. You can enroll into any of the programs that best suit you.

We also wrote about the disadvantages of NHIS ….just click on the highlisted link.

Stella-maris Achumba


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