The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will from December 2018 introduce the electronic renewal process for clients whose cards have expired.
Per the introduction of the electronic process dubbed ‘E-renewal’, NHIS clients will be able to renew their membership from the comfort of their home using an electronic platform which can be accessed by dialing a short code.
Based on the service you select, it will tell you what to do and with your mobile money you can pay for the service without having to go to the NHIA office.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Health Insurance Authority, Samuel Annor, who disclosed this to the media during an unannounced visit to the Dzorwulu NHIS office yesterday, said the electronic process was already being piloted in West Mamprusi and Esujaman Districts.
He said the feedback from the project has been encouraging, however, “some people are being reluctant to dial the number themselves and go through the process, so they still want to go to the hospitals or the service facilities for it to be done for them.
Those things come with the risk of having your mobile money being stolen, especially if the person doing it for you is a stranger.”
Mr. Annor, therefore, advised people who are not technologically savvy should only let people they can trust to do it for them.
The CEO of the NHIA further added that the authority will also launch another project come December 2018 to ensure no member of the scheme pays any money when they visit health facilities from the primary level and below.
He said the NHIA had already begun engaging service providers on the project, which he hopes will ensure universal access to healthcare for all.
“We are busy engaging the service providers and soon we will have a system where if any Ghanaian with NHIS membership can get to any facility from the primary healthcare and below and will not pay any money. We will start signing contracts with all service providers and we will include in the contract that there will be no charge to the client else they can opt out,” Mr. Annor said.
He added that once that is done, there will be a gate-keeping system to ensure the system is not abused.
Interacting with the clients, Mr. Annor acknowledged the logistical challenge the Scheme faced a few months ago which resulted in clients waiting long hours for registration.
Explaining the situation, he said the NHIA had anticipated the issuance of the national identification card which will then imply that the NHIS card will not be needed “because of that we were watching and being careful not to procure a year in advance so to avoid unnecessary expenditure but once we realised the role out of the national identification card was delaying we had to now take steps to at least procure for about a year to make sure that our members do not go through delays.”
He, thus, assured the clients that logistics have been provided for centres across the country for the smooth registration of clients.
“That will continue until there is a possible smooth hand over from the use of our cards to the use of the national identification card,” he said.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri