Beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) are being registered onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to promote access to healthcare services.
Management of the LEAP and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) are undertaking the nationwide registration exercise to ensure all LEAP beneficiaries own the NHIS card.
Beneficiaries whose cards have expired and those who have lost or damaged their cards will have them replaced.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Myles Ongoh, the Deputy Director of LEAP, said the registration would lead to a considerable reduction in healthcare expenditure for the households.
That, he said, would enable the beneficiaries to use the cash grant to improve their nutrition and invest in other productive activities.
“The main objective of the LEAP Programme is to reduce poverty by increasing and smoothening consumption and promoting access to services and opportunities among the extremely poor and vulnerable,” Mr Ongoh said.
“As such, we believe providing access to healthcare to all 335,000 households on the LEAP Programme will protect them from the potentially catastrophic effects of out-of-pocket health care costs.”
“LEAP recognises that cash transfer alone is not sufficient to address such needs. This calls for the need to introduce some interventions to complement the cash transfers.”
The National Health Insurance Act, 2012; Act 852, exempts beneficiaries from paying any premium or processing fees to register onto the Scheme or to renew their expired cards, he said.
Mr Ongoh said beneficiaries could walk into the offices of the District Assembly or District Social Welfare and officers would facilitate the registration or renewal of their cards.
He commended the NHIA and World Bank for the support and said the collaborative effort for the mass registration and renewal of expired cards was timely, especially as the world had been ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Richard A. Nartey, Head of Payment of the LEAP Programme, said without the support and contribution of the regional and district Social Welfare officers, who performed their role as frontline workers, the LEAP-NHIS registration exercise would not have been a reality.