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 PRESIDENT TO LAUCH NHIS MOBILE RENEWAL ON WEDNESDAY

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to officially launch the National Health Insurance (NHIS) Mobile Membership Renewal and Authentication Project on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.

 

The renewal is a nation-wide scale-up by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), and adds to the services which have since become operational.

 

A Deputy Director of Corporate Affairs at the NHIA Headquarters, Mr. Oswald Essuah-Mensah disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting held in Bolgatanga attended by the media, some selected organizations and other strategic regional Heads of Department.

 

He said the scale-up of the project comes on the background of a successful pilot implemented in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region and in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region   earlier this year.

 

He explained that under this new renewal project, an NHIS client can easily renew his or her membership from anywhere across Ghana using any mobile phone registered to any mobile money service.

 

In addition, Mr Essuah-Mensah said a person with any type of mobile phone  registered to a mobile money service, can renew his NHIS membership by sending a text to the Short Code *929# and following simple prompts thereafter.

 

The Corporate Affairs Officer called on stakeholders to embrace the mobile renewal service, stressing that it held good benefits for all including the clients, the service providers and the Scheme itself.

 

“For instance it will bring about reduced waiting time for clients, reduced transportation costs since there won’t be any travels to Scheme offices and also, reduction in income losses as members can spend quality time doing business while texting to renew their cards”, he stated.

 

The Authority, Mr. Essuah-Mensah said, would be sending periodic “Reminder” text messages to members at least twice in a year to alert them of their expiry dates in order not to be taken unawares.

 

Touching on how the renewals via mobile phones will benefit NHIS Service Providers, he said it would afford them reliable digital verification of expiry dates, allow for the use of simple inexpensive devices with low maintenance costs, bring about improved claims management as well as allow for digital attendance records to be taken with ease.

 

Meanwhile, the NHIA has targeted to lower its operational costs, increase its Scheme penetration, reduce revenue leakages in the system and also, induce better claims governance through the project’s implementation.

 

In this vein, he hinted that the Authority also plans to deploy some staff to the service provider points to assist clients whenever necessary.

 

According to him, a broad goal of the NHIA is to achieve Universal Health Care by year 2030 through improved access to affordable, quality healthcare for all residents in Ghana and to improve the financial sustainability of the scheme by reducing registration bottlenecks and cost to the NHIA through implementation of pragmatic programmes such as the mobile renewal project.

 

Mr Essuah-Mensah pointed out that the specific objectives of the digitisation of the membership renewals is targeted to increase renewal and enrolment rates by 20 percent within one year, enhance customer experience by reducing renewal time by up to 95 percent, to create awareness for the short code (*929#) and to enhance education on the renewal and authenticate processes among NHIS Staff, providers and members.

 

The Corporate Affairs officer urged the media to educate the public about the service benefits to members, the scheme and the providers and also, to encourage all healthcare providers to embrace the project by adopting and signing onto it.

 

He, however, cautioned the public to be weary of potential fraudsters who may want to dupe unsuspecting people, emphasizing that “the service is free, never give your PIN away,” adding that we want “the Telco’s to expand coverage of their networks to at least all service provider sites in order to enable the mobile renewal project to succeed.”

 

Director of Membership and Regional Operations at the NHIA, Mr. Ben Kusi urged all members of the NHIS to regularly update their records such as phone numbers, so as to ease communication and other forms of engagements between them and the Scheme.

 

He observed that with the full cooperation and signing up of service providers and members, the project would become efficient and would enhance audit efforts aimed at eradicating fraudulent claims and other financial misappropriations in the system.

 

He disclosed that there were 540 medicines on the NHIS medicines list for prescription to member, stating that all health facilities were obliged “ethically not to turn away any patient during emergencies because of absence of an Insurance Card or inability to pay at that point in time.”

 

Source: ISD (Peter Atogewe Wedam)

 

 

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