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30.07.2004 Health

National Health Insurance Levy begins on Sunday

National Health Insurance Levy begins on Sunday
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Accra, July 30, GNA - The National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) of two-and-a-half per cent to be charged on selected goods and services begins on Sunday August 1.

The Levy would complement the two-and-a-half per cent contributions to be collected from the Social Security and National Insurance Fund (SSNIT) to support the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The Levy would be collected by the Valued Added Tax (VAT) Service and managed by the National Health Insurance Council.

The Levy according, to Nana Akomea, Minister of Information, would not be charged on a range of carefully selected goods and services such as medicines, water, education, electricity, fishing nets, basic agricultural products and foodstuffs to ensure that the less privileged in society were not overburdened.

Other sources of the fund would include money that might be allocated to the Fund by Parliament, money that accrued from investments and grants, donations, gifts and any other voluntary contributions. The NHI Act was passed last year by Parliament to replace the current "Cash and Carry" System, under which patients paid for medical services at the point of delivery.

Each subscriber would pay an average of 72,000 cedis annually, which would not represent the full cost.

He said the Government would bear 80 per cent of the total cost while subscribers would pay the remaining 20 per cent. When the scheme becomes effective, an insured patient would not pay directly for health services rendered.

The Levy would not be added to the cost of exports and, therefore, would attract a zero rate.

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