According to a recent report, the National Health Insurance Scheme, which has received worldwide acclamation is gradually losing financial stamina for survival.

The Scheme is projected to face a challenge of funding gap to a tune of GHC458.25 million by 2019.

This is according to the National Health Insurance Fund Allocation Formula (NHIF) 2017 report.

“Additional funding to the tune of GHC379 million is required from government to fully settle expected claims indebtedness for the year 2017. The above projection assumes that the additional funding for claims payment in 2017 will be catered for in the 2018 fiscal year.

In effect, projected income and expenditure for both 2018 and 2019 will shows excess of income over expenditure, amounting to GHC0.61 million and GHC458.25m respectively.” the report captured.

The Scheme which is managed by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), was allocated GHC1.8m for 2017 comprising statutory and Internally Generated Funds (IGF) excluding funding gap.

But, total receipt, including funding gap amounted to GHC2.25m for 2017.

The report further noted that the projections were based on trends in average growth rates in each income and expenditure line item from the year 2014 to 2016, except for statutory incomes (NHIL and SSNIT), which were sourced directly from the annual budget statements of 2017 of Ghana. It is anticipated that cost of items will not go beyond 20 percent of the preceding year’s expenditure line items.

However, expenditure to the Ministry of Health is capped at GHC145 million for the next two years, in order to stay within the statutory limit of 10 percent of total expenditure of the allocated fund.

Furthermore, the report also reveals that the medium-term income and expenditure plan from 2017-2019 would rise to GHC2.9 million, with income expected from NHIL levies itself, SSNIT, Premium (informal sector), income on investment, processing fees, authentication service income and other income.

Expenditure on items such as biometric ID Cards and authentication system is projected to go up from GHC125m to GHC187 million by 2019.

Other expenses would range from support to district offices, office buildings, per capita payment system, nationwide ICT system, archival system and document digitization, claims data capturing.

Section 42(1) of Act 852 stipulates that the Authority shall allocate and disburse moneys from the Fund in order to achieve the object of the Fund.

The Authority shall in the preparation of the formula and disbursement of moneys from the Fund ensure the sustainability of the Scheme.

Based on the objectives of the fund, the criteria for the allocation of the fund is applied to subsidy for premium for the exempt group, subsidy for claims equalization, allocation of claims subsidy by category, allocation of claims and premium subsidy by regions and other mandatory and administrative commitments of the NHIA

-Adnan Adams Mohammed