The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) registered one million, five hundred thousand, three hundred and twenty four (1,500,324) extremely poor people across the country in 2014 for free.
The figure which covers the period between January and December, 2014 is an improvement on 2013’s performance and the best since the inception of the Scheme. It represents about 70% of the total indigent population in Ghana.
According to the Ghana Living Standards Survey Round Six (GLSS 6), Ghana has about 2.2 million extremely poor people.
1,230,602 extremely poor people were registered in 2013, while 393,453 people from the same category got onto the Scheme for free in 2012.
Coverage of the poor in social protection refers to enrolling people classified as very poor, by the appropriate government agency, onto the Scheme free of charge.
This means these people do not pay membership processing fees and annual premiums. The cost of their membership is borne by government.
District Offices of NHIA were tasked to collaborate with key stakeholders including the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Children, Gender and Social Protection to identify the poor and vulnerable.
The Ministry of Children, Gender and Social Protection was instrumental in recording the increase.
The NHIS, a social protection program, was among other things set up to provide financial risk protection against the cost of basic healthcare for residents of Ghana and provide an avenue for indigents to receive free basic medical care.
Section 3 (f) of the National Health Insurance Act, 2012 (Act 852) enjoins the NHIA to ensure equity in health care coverage, access by the poor to healthcare services and protection of the poor and vulnerable against financial risk.