The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) says about 5million subscribers have patronised the mobile membership renewal and authentication project within the one-year period.
Speaking at a year commemoration of the service in Accra, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NHIA, Dr. Lydia Dsane Selby said, the success chalked has help to ease the burden for both the scheme and subscribers.
According to her, the digitization of the system has reduced the stress of long queues at the centres, saved transportation cost for subscribers and time, as well as saving material cost of the Authority.
“The Mobile Renewal Service launched by the Vice President of the Republic, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in 2018 marked the turning point of the total digitalization of the system of enrolment of new NHIS clients, renewal of membership, submission, processing and payment of claims to support efforts of the government towards universal health coverage of the country,” she said.
She added, that the authentication process also has given the NHIA real time utilisation data in order to anticipate claims volumes.
The CEO disclosed that, “With the introduction of the NHIS Mobile Renewal Service, on short code *929# over 5 million people have taken advantage and renewed their membership at the comfort of their homes, workplace, market, etc. without having to physically visit the Scheme offices”.
She noted that, apart from the spectacular increase in active membership, The Scheme has become more attractive to the extent that members who left are returning, thereby increasing the number of persons being covered in line with Universal Health Coverage vision of the government.
“Combined with the generation of E-Receipts, the much-touted innovation tracks payments to streamline the operations of the NHIS and make it more efficient. Simplified Offline Verification allows NHIS provider facilities to verify membership validity using mobile technology. They are therefore reassured that the claims submitted will not be rejected for invalid membership. It also gives the NHIA real time utilization data in order to anticipate claims volume,” the CEO added.
Dr Selby pointed out, the mobile service has also help to reduce the chances of false claims by some providers.
“The Mobile Membership Renewal Service puts a check on providers by reducing the chances of false claims generation through the option available to members to confirm or deny attendance after every facility visit requiring the use of the NHIS cards. This is in line with the statement of His Excellency the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo urging us all to be Citizens and not Spectators,” she stressed.
She assured that, the NHIA has come to stay and urged all non-members to register with the scheme and enjoy the full benefit of quality and affordable healthcare.
On claims payment, Dr Selby disclosed that, the current administration has paid in full 2017/2018 arrears, with payment of 2019 earnestly on course.
“As part of measures to win back lost confidence and save the NHIS from what appeared inevitable collapse, the current administration has paid off the total arrears from 2015 and 2016 claims. Not only that, Health Service Providers have again been paid 2017 and 2018 claims in full and payment of 2019 is earnestly on course. This mountain of debt had eaten up the confidence in the Scheme and strangled it almost to the point of no return but we have been able to change it for the better,” she revealed.