High income earners must pay higher NHIS premiums

Ho, March 17, GNA – Mr Nestor Elliot Akototse, Volta Regional Director of the National Health Insurance Authority, has urged those with higher incomes to pay higher premiums to the National Health Insurance Scheme.

‘As a social scheme the rich must pay for the poor,’ he said at a media on the state of the NHIS in the Region and programmes for the year.

2.5 percent of the Value Added Tax, 2.5 percent of workers Social Security and National Trust (SSNIT) contributions, returns from investments, central government allotments with parliamentary approval, returns from investment and premiums from subscribers go to fund the Scheme.

The NHIA has however proposed to government to shore up funding for the Scheme from percentages of oil revenue, communication tax and a one percent increase in VAT to 3.5 percent.

Mr Akototse said almost everybody who subscribed to the Scheme was paying less than 20.00 Ghana cedis as premium except for a senior public servant in the region who opted to pay 50.00 Ghana cedis.

He said a chunk of those on the NHIS comprised people above 70 years,, those under 18 years, indigents, and those on the Livelihood Against Poverty Programme (LEAP), pregnant women all of whom are exempted from paying premiums thus making the Scheme virtually free because of the number of people enjoying this dispensation.

Mr Akototse said the region’s revenue from premiums last year stood at 2,552,826.85 Ghana cedis down from a target of 2,843,413.51 Ghana Cedis.

In that year the region received 50,602,937.00 Ghana cedis from Accra, he said, describing the amount as ‘woefully inadequate.’

‘Service providers have been very cooperative and worked with human face,’ Mr Akototse said.

He announced that the region would roll out Capitation including the Biometric System of registration by mid-year this year.

The region’s membership target for 2015 is put at 1,090,413 up from 1,000,379. GNA

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