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Sunday, July 21, 2024

NHIA Introduces Compulsory Health Insurance Policy For Foreign Nationals

Dr. Aboagye Da Costa

 

Foreign nationals arriving in Ghana will be required to obtain a mandatory health insurance policy ranging from $45 to $270 before being granted entry into the country.

The initiative which will begin July 1, 2024 aims to ensure that all non-resident foreigners have access to comprehensive healthcare services during their stay in Ghana.

Under the new policy, foreign visitors arriving in Ghana via airports and obtaining visas or visa on arrival will be subjected to enrolling in the “National Non-resident Visitors Health Insurance” scheme. This insurance plan, jointly developed by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in collaboration with the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and other key stakeholders, guarantees foreigners free access to medical treatment while in Ghana.

The compulsory health insurance requirement will apply to non-residents staying in Ghana for less than six months within a twelve-month period, encompassing individuals arriving for short-term visits or tourism purposes. The policy’s establishment was driven by insights gleaned from the COVID-19 pandemic, during which foreign nationals requiring medical attention posed challenges as Ghana lacked a structured insurance mechanism to address their healthcare needs.

Dr. Isaac Morrison, Vice Chairman of the Technical Working Group on the Visitors Health Insurance Scheme and NHIA Board Member, emphasized the significance of implementing a dedicated health insurance policy for foreigners as an essential safeguard in light of evolving global health dynamics.

The activation of Section 2b of the National Health Insurance Act, 2012 (Act 852), paved the way for the formulation and enforcement of the health insurance mandate for foreign nationals in Ghana.

Ghana’s proactive stance aligns with international trends, with countries like Sierra Leone and Egypt already successfully operating similar health insurance schemes for foreign visitors within the African continent.

By Vincent Kubi

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