Service Providers To Demand Interest

Health Insurance Service Providers Association of Ghana (HISPAG) will henceforth institute legal action to demand interest on any amount delayed in payment by the National Health Insurance Authority, Mr Anthony Ameka, Director of Operations and Communication of HISPAG, has said .

Speaking at the launch of the Northern Regional branch of HISPAG in Tamale, he said the interest would be used to offset penalty charges HISPAG members were compelled to pay to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) for delaying the payment of their workers contributions to SSNIT as well as tax to the Ghana Revenue Authority.

He said this became necessary because “Whenever providers delay payment to SSNIT and Ghana Revenue Authority, they are taken to court to compel them to pay the principal amount with penalty depending on the number of days payment delays.”

He said NHIA are in arrears for five months adding this was taking a toll on the operations of especially private health insurance service providers as they had to pay their staff and buy medicines and other hospital consumables.

Mr Ameka warned that if the NHIA failed to pay the claims by the middle of this month, HISPAG members would have no option but to revert to cash and carry mode of treatment at the hospital.

He also demanded that government establish an independent body similar to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission to be responsible for the review of tariffs and prices rather than the NHIA determining such conditions.

Mr Ameka said this would result in automatic adjustment of prices and tariffs to reflect real economic situations prevailing at any point in time.

He also demanded the establishment of an adjudication committee as recommended by the NHIA Regulations to listen to complaints of HISPAG members for quick resolution.

Alhaji Hudu Idrissu, Northern Regional Manager of the NHIA, said NHIA was concerned about the delay in claims payment to health insurance service providers and assured that it was working to improve the situation to ensure prompt payment of claims.

Alhaji Idrissu said NHIA welcomed the formation of HISPAG saying it would help present a common front for the health insurance service providers.