By Adeyinka Aderibigbe
TO deepen health insurance enrolment in the untapped informal sector, the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) has reached out to captains of micro-finance banks.
At an event to enlist micro-finance banks, LASHMA General Manager, Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, said the deal was to ensure that more Lagosians, irrespective of their status, have access to quality healthcare through the state’s compulsory health insurance scheme.
Zamba, represented by LASHMA’s Director of Finance, Mrs. Aramide Ojo, said: “The focus of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu Administration is to ensure that about 23 million people who formed the bulk of the vulnerable, poor or the poorest of the poor, all of which constitute the informal sector, are captured and are protected by the state’s health insurance scheme.”
The LASHMA boss urged microfinance banks to develop products around the scheme so that the banks can begin to sell the social health insurance scheme to their customers.
She added that because it is a social service scheme, the state government has subsidised the yearly premium payable for any category of enrolment. For a family of six (father, mother and four children who dependents), she said premium of N40,000 entitles the entire family to quality healthcare service in any hospital of their choice for one year.
LASHMA allows payment plan to be done quarterly by paying N11,500 or N3,850 monthly for the family premium. Individual premium (that is for an unmarried person) costs only N8,500 yearly, N2,450 per quarter or N820 monthly.
Zamba explained that the advantage of the state health insurance scheme is that credited public and private hospitals are on the list of facility that enrollees can choose from, including top-range health service providers such St Nicholas Hospital have signed up to the state’s health insurance scheme.
“Many people who would otherwise not have thought it possible of accessing healthcare in such high profile hospitals are procuring health services in such places through LASHMA. What we are putting before you is the brand Lagos and the assurance that the government would do everything to make the health insurance a success. We are assuring you that LASHMA, in collaboration with sister health agencies, would not fail in sanctioning any healthcare provider that falls short of total quality service for all subscribers to the state’s health insurance scheme,” Zamba said.
Read Also: Sanwo-Olu empowers 2,000 indigent Lagosians
She listed healthcare services covered under the scheme to include outpatient care for common ailments and conditions; maternal, new born and child care, including caesarean section; access to family planning counselling and services; management of uncomplicated chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, etc; access to HIV and TB testing services; minor surgeries such as incision drainage, herniorraphy and appendectomy; health promotion and disease prevention.
Also, LASHMA’s Head of Business Development and Marketing, Mr Rotimi Olatunji, said the state insurance scheme provides quality and affordable healthcare, is readily accessible, promotes equity and solidarity by ensuring that all classes of people can access healthcare and prevent needless deaths.
Unlike other healthcare providers that stress good return on investment, the LSHS is a social scheme where every dime would be ploughed back to help the blighted in the society, he added.
President emeritus, National Association of Microfinance Banks in Nigeria (NAMFB), Dr Valentine Whesu, commended the state government for initiating the scheme. He assured that his members would partner the government in making it a success.
“Let me assure you that all microfinance institutions will key into the product and ensure that all our customers enlist as subscribers of the health insurance scheme,” he said.