Agency seeks compulsory insurance enrolment for intending couples
The Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA) on Friday called on the state government to make enrollment of health insurance schemes compulsory for intending couples.
The Director-General of the authority, Mr Abubakar Hassan, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of a two-day meeting with a media group in Zaria.
Hassan told NAN that the measure, if enforced through a legal framework, would significantly reduce out of pocket expenditure on healthcare for the couples.
He explained that the current practice was for intending couples to present a clean bill of health before their marriage would be contracted either in the Church, Mosque, or Registry.
”This should be extended to cover enrolment for health insurance as an integrated approach to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure on health services for couples,” he said.
He said that the amount spent on pre-wedding medical tests could be used to enrol for the scheme for a year.
The DG said that it would cost a couple who did not enrol in the insurance scheme between N150,000 to N250,000 a year, from beginning of pregnancy to delivery.
He said that the cost would be more if the delivery was through a caesarian section but would cost the man and the wife less than 22,000 a year if enrolled into KADCHMA health insurance scheme.
“Once married, it is expected that the wife would get pregnant and when she gets pregnant, her body will go through some changes and eventually in and out of hospitals.
“In the long run, the husband will incur a lot of expenses taking the wife in and out of hospital.
“But enrolment into the insurance scheme will significantly reduce out of pocket expenditure in line with the goals of the Universal Health Coverage for couples,” he said.
Hassan called on faith-based organisations, Civil Society Organisation, to support the move which encourages healthy living, reduces out-of-pocket spending on health services and keeps the couple financially secure.
He said that partnering with the media was strategic to achieving the mandate of KADCHMA, stressing that the media remains a critical tool for information dissemination and social mobilisation.
NAN reports that the two-day media roundtable with members of the State Media Working Group (SMWG) was organised by KADCHMA with support from Save the Children international.
The objective of the media roundtable is to review KADCHMA’s communication strategy, key messages, and media plan for media sensitisation to increase enrolment into State health insurance scheme.
It is also organised to increase the understanding and knowledge of media partners on the activities of KADCHMA, Basic Health Care Provision Fund and healthcare financing.
The meeting is also to strengthen partnership for a robust reportage of the health sector as it affects health financing in Kaduna State.