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June 5, 2023
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NHIA plans health insurance cover for pensioners

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), has put in motion, the process leading up to extending health insurance to pensioners.

Director General of National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Prof Mohammed Sambo, gave this indication during a courtesy visit by the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) in Abuja.

Sambo said extending health insurance to pensioners was consistent with best practices around the world, adding that the most effective care for aging persons was to give them unqualified access to affordable and quality healthcare.

He stated that coverage for pensioners was a critical aspect of attaining universal health coverage, adding that government was favourably disposed to ensuring that persons who have served the country with a better part of their lives should have access to care without further financial burden.

On the issue of how the initiative will be funded, Sambo stressed that healthcare must be paid for because it is impossible for it to be free; adding that support of relevant government agencies would be required to achieve sustainable financing.

Within the context of organizations’ support, he noted that the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Department of State Services (DSS) were already paying for health care coverage of their retirees, noting that funding healthcare for pensioners was critical to institutionalizing the initiative and making it enduring.

Speaking specifically on efforts to be made, Sambo noted that the Authority was in a position to commence the process of coverage of pensioners through an internal budgetary provision.

Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, the Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), while speaking earlier, highlighted the plight of pensioners around the country, noting that the law setting up PTAD gives leverage to the agency to explore ways of improving the welfare of pensioners.

Ejikeme noted that promoting the welfare of pensioners was central to the operations of the agency, adding that PTAD had worked tirelessly to ensure a transparent and accountable system for retirees.

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