The Health Insurance Service Providers Association of Ghana is demanding an increase in premiums paid by National Health subscribers.
An increase in premiums according to them will enhance the efficiency of service providers in the delivery of quality healthcare to Ghanaians.
Currently 69% of the scheme’s resources are from taxes while 31% comes from premiums.The chairman of the National Health Review Technical Committee, Dr. Chris Atim, had earlier described the dependence of the scheme on taxes as a “progressive” move.
But speaking to Citi News, the Executive Director of HISPAG, Frank Torblu said the NHIA cannot honour claims of service providers if subscribers do not pay realistic premiums.
He explained that there are various sources of funding for the scheme of which includes “the payment of premiums, the national health insurance levy and 2.5% of SSNIT contributions from formal sector workers.”
He argued that if the tax element which Ghanaians are already paying is unable to cushion the system, “then we have a problem. It means that we have to increase our premium element to come up a little to support what is there.”
“For instance if you have 10 million people who are on the scheme and each person pays GHc50 as against the GHc12 they are paying presently and they pay an average premium of GHc50 for the year, I think we will be making a very huge impact. So let us not make it look like we want to support it with tax otherwise we are going back to the Kwame Nkrumah days where we have free healthcare nationwide,” he added.
Frank Torblu further added that though the NHIS is a social policy intervention programme, “the premium must be reasonably realistic to the extent that the system can be supported.”