The NHIA says the 2.5% Health Insurance Levy which has been in existence for 10 years is no longer enough to support the key social intervention scheme.
The National Health Insurance Authority is proposing a 1% increase in the levy if the scheme is to avoid collapse.
The once promising and shining example of how a government should provide public health care is now an embarrassing tale in which subscribers are now being denied health care.
Health service providers have been lamenting the mounting arrears of claims that have been outstanding for many months.
This culture of unpaid claims is crippling hospitals’ ability to continue to provide services to subscribers many of whom are in the informal sector and who see health insurance as a lifeline to an affordable healthcare.
NHIA Public Relations Officer Selorm Adornu told Joy News Tuesday only an increase in the levy will be enough to rescue the ailing scheme from collapse.
“Even if we were to get all the 2.5% [NHIL] collected in a year, dumped at NHIA and employed the most efficient systems, there will still be a funding gap”.
He explained that 70% of subscribers to the scheme do not pay premiums making it difficult to support a national scheme with only 30% contributors.
He says the monies collected is just “not adequate….and everybody knows this”.
But former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service Dr. Elias Sory, who is also a former board member of the NHIA, says increasing the levy will not sustain the scheme.
He says the problem with funding is because the NHIA does not invest levies it collects.
“If you don’t invest the health insurance fund to generate more money and you release it only to disburse immediately, the fund will collapse”, he explained.
He says it takes two to three months before it pays claims. Government could take advantage of the period to invest the monies.
“That is how it is supposed to be”, the health administrator maintains Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]
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