How Does Health Insurance Work In Nigeria For Expats?

How is the healthcare system paid for?

Though the country has a universal healthcare system, public healthcare in Nigeria is severely underfunded, with the Nigerian government only putting around 3% of the country’s GDP toward healthcare facilities, medication, research and training. This is compared to the average 9.7% dedicated to healthcare by other countries worldwide.

It’s important to understand how the universal healthcare system in Nigeria works and how it’s funded before moving to the country, to help you decide wither or not to invest in private healthcare for you and your family.

Is healthcare paid for in Nigeria?

Nigeria’s government funded universal health system, the NHIS, was established in 1999 to provide accessible healthcare to all Nigerian citizens. Unfortunately, due to the lack of funding put toward healthcare in Nigeria each year, the national system has limited resources and is often unable to provide a sufficient healthcare even for minor conditions.

Who funds healthcare in Nigeria?

Healthcare in Nigeria is funded by government budgetary allocation using general tax revenue and supported by donor funding, a social insurance scheme known as the Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Programme (FSSHIP) and private funding.

The FSSHIP works by pooling contributions from employees and employers, amounting to 1.75% and 3.5% respectively of the employee’s consolidated salary. The Formal Sector includes any public sector or organised private sector business employing 10 or more people, the armed forces, police and other uniformed services. Students in full-time tertiary education are also paid for. Contributions cover health care benefits for the employee, a spouse and up to four biological children under the age of 18.

How much does NHIS cost in Nigeria?

If you are not eligible for the NHIS through your employer or educational institution, it is possible to become a voluntary member of the programme at personal cost. You can do this through the NHIS website.

It costs around US$35 to register as a voluntary contributor to social health insurance in Nigeria, plus US$23 per person you wish to cover. This fee will automatically renew every year.

Are hospitals free in Nigeria?

General hospitals and emergency services are free in Nigeria for anyone covered under NHIS. Be aware that NHIS will give you the standard level of medical care, which may be below the standards of your home country.

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