The Benefit Of Registering With Nigeria National Health Insurance Scheme

What is National Health Insurance Scheme?

National Health Insurance Scheme is a health insurance created for Nigerians to access quality medical care from most government hospital in any part of Nigeria at little or no cost.

This insurance policy covers every aspect of health challenge except serious cases such as major operations, kidney infection, heart surgery and others. Sicknesses such as Malaria, Typhoid and others are treated free of charge under this scheme in most government hospital in Nigeria.

Before the introduction of this scheme, most Nigerians spend a lot of money in hospitals for diagnosis and medications. Because of this, the have not’s in the country especially the inhabitants of the rural areas find it difficult to go to hospitals, clinics, or health centre’s to access quality medical care; instead they chose self-prescription and would rather go to chemists and pharmacies to get drugs.

This habit of self-medication adopted by a majority of Nigerians as a result of the insufficient fund to settle hospitals bills led to increase in health challenges leading to death, physical disabilities, severe complication and more.

To control this ugly situation that is jeopardizing the health of Nigerians, the Federal Government of Nigeria established a corporate body under Act 35 of the1999 Constitution known as National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). This insurance scheme was established to enable average Nigerian in any part of the country access quality health care at little or no cost.

Presently, non-governmental hospitals that have all the necessary medical equipment and facilities are qualified to partner with National Health Insurance Scheme in delivering quality health care to all nooks and crannies of the country.  

National Health Insurance Scheme has the formal and informal sectors. The sub-categories are explained below.

Formal Sectors

·        Formal sector social health insurance programme (FSSHIP), 

·        Voluntary contributor social health insurance programme (VCSHIP).

Informal Sector

·        Tertiary social health insurance programme (TISHIP),

·        Community-based social health insurance programme (CBSHIP)

·        Public primary pupil’s social health insurance programme (PPPSHIP) and

·        Vulnerable group social health insurance programme (VGSHIP)


The Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Programme

This is a type of health insurance scheme where the healthcare of employees in the public sectoris being paid for and taken care of from the funds made by the employee-employers contribution.

Voluntary Contributor Social Health Insurance Programme

Voluntary contributor’s social health insurance scheme is designed for those who are not currently covered by any of the NHIS programmes, and for those who may not have been satisfied with the existing health care services in Nigeria.

Registration Procedure For Formal Sector

·        The registration is to be done through accredited HMOs.

·        The processing of the health insurance programme takes about 90 days (3 months) before the participant can access healthcare services.

·        The registration and payment cover the employer, the spouse and four biological children below the age of 18.

·        An identity card will be issued as proof of registration.


Tertiary Institution Social Health Insurance Programme

The tertiary institution social health insurance programme is packaged for students in higher institutions like universities and polytechnics universities, colleges of education and agriculture, nursing schools etc.

Community-Based Social Health Insurance Programme

Community-Based Social Health Insurance Programme is one of the informal health schemes in the country; it covers communities including families and individuals, occupation-based groups.

The members pay in cash monthly or in advance, and can also source for funds through grants, formal launching, fund-raising events, governmental organizations, and more; the funds gotten is used for the healthcare of the community involved.

Public Primary Pupils Social Health Insurance Programme

Public Primary Pupils Social Health Insurance Programme is created for public primary schools pupils across the country with the aim to provide access to quality health care services for children between the ages of 6-12 years.

Vulnerable Group Social Health Insurance Programmes

Owing to the need for persons with physical disabilities including the aged, less privileged, physically challenged, pregnant women, prison inmates, and children under 5 years of age to get adequate healthcare services.

The government created the vulnerable group social health insurance programme to provide adequate health care services for the participants in the country.

The funds used for this service is generated by the contributions made by the federal, state and local governments, civil society organizations, and development partners in Nigeria.

Registration Procedure For Informal Sector

·        Registration is done through accredited HMO’s

·        The registration payment covers only the individual concerned.

·        Identification card will be issued after registration

·        It takes 90days after registration for before accessing medical care.



National Health Insurance Scheme was established to come to the rescue of Nigerian who may find it difficult to access quality health care due to one reason or the other.

This scheme if maintained will help meet the developmental need of Nigeria in health sector.

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