The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) registered 70,358 indigents in 2018 onto the insurance scheme and at the same time made marginal gains in revenue mobilization in the form of premium and processing fee collections.
The registered beneficiaries considered poor included persons who qualify under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, prison inmates, the homeless and Persons with Disabilities.
Mr Abass Suleymana, the Upper West Regional Director of NHIA, said this at the 2018 Annual Performance Review Meeting and media briefing of the National Health Insurance Authority in Wa.
The event was held under the theme: “Achieving universal health coverage through technology and innovations”.
The NHIA recorded strong growth in 2018 with its population coverage growing by 54 percent of the regional population and active membership also increasing.
“As at December 31, 2018, population coverage unto the NHIS in the region stood at 54 per cent of the regional population,” Mr Sulemana said.
“The number of active members in the region grew by 15.5 per cent, from 391,068 in 2017 to 451,800 in 2018”.
He said the premium and processing fees collection grew by 8.1 percent in 2017 and 13.7 percent in 2018.
The strong performance recorded was largely attributed to “technology-driven initiative” introduced which included Mobile Renewal Service, Non-biometric authentication system and E-receipting and payment system.
The mobile renewal service helped the scheme to overcome the challenges that was associated with membership renewal – mainly huge cost of consumables and long queues at the various district offices, he said.
On the non-biometric authentication system, Mr Sulemana said, as at the end of the year under review, 316 providers were registered and in just about two months of its introduction while about 40 percent of service providers have started its operationalization.
On electronic receipting and payment system, he said, the NHIA started piloting it across the country and in Upper West Region, the Wa Municipal Office was selected for the project.
He said the the project has many benefits over the manual issuance of receipts as it dealt with the problem of inability to guess receipt numbers and ensured prompt remittance of cash to head office.
The officials are also able to monitor cash collection online and reconciliation of cash collected and system values at the close of day made easy.
The NHIA officials took stock of their activities and stewardship for 2018, assessed performance in accordance with the objectives and targets that they set for ourselves.
They also strategized to improve performance in 2019, taking into accounts their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities available and potential threats in the Region.