Federal Government Makes Health Insurance Compulsory For Employers
The Federal Government has made health insurance compulsory for employers.
This directive will force employers to ensure that employees in all sectors get full access to health insurance, Wellness Health understands.
Barely a few days after President Muhammadu Bihari passed the National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2021, this directive was passed.
This health news platform understands that only states with functional health insurance and contributory schemes would benefit from the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.
About the new law, the President noted that it invalidates the National Health Insurance Scheme Act 2004.
In the old law, every state in Nigeria was mandated to pay a 50 per cent counterpart fund. This would enable them to access the total fund for the BHCPF.
However, this new law enables Nigeria to achieve Universal Health Coverage which is part of the Sustainable Development Goal by 2030
This was stated in section 13, subsection 8 of the 2021 Authority Bill.
“Every state that has established a State Health Insurance or Contributory Scheme and complies with this Act’s requirements shall be eligible to participate in the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund as established under the National Health Act and its guidelines.”
In section 14, subsections 1 and 2, the compulsion of health insurance on employees and employers in Nigeria was spelt out.
“Subject to the provisions of this Act, every person resident in Nigeria shall be required to obtain health insurance. Residents under this act include all employers and employees in public and private sectors with five staff and above, informal sector employees, and all other residents of Nigeria.
The sponsor of the bill, Dr Yahaya Oloriegbe, the representative of Kwara State Senatorial District in his comment said Nigeria will achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030 through this law.
His words: “the bill would provide for a robust, affordable and sustainable financial mechanism for health. The bill will enhance the ability of Nigeria to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030”.
In a chat with PUNCH, Lekan Ewenla, a former council member of the NHIS and Chief Executive Officer of the Ultimate Health Services, said this law ensures strict compliance.
His words: “This new law was meticulously written to ensure compliance in order to ensure that everyone who lives in this country enjoys basic healthcare services.
“The NHIS has been strengthened as a regulatory authority. They will go all out to ensure strict compliance. Just like the old Act, states that do not have a contributory scheme or refuse to domesticate the bill won’t enjoy the benefits. It is however important that states realise the importance of domesticating this law so that citizens, most especially the vulnerable, can enjoy the services.
“While the former law focused on just the formal sector, the new law focuses also not just on the formal sector but the informal sector. Statutorily, every employer of labour should pay 10 percent of basic salaries as medical allowances which are to be converted as premium for the workforce.”
Source: Punch HealthWise