DO YOUNG AND HEALTHY LAGOSIANS NEED HEALTH INSURANCE?

In the twilight of his administration, former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, signed the law establishing the Lagos State Health Scheme into Law. This law made it compulsory for all residents of Lagos state (irrespective of age, sex, social, economic or health status) to have a type of health insurance.

Health insurance is a type of insurance that covers medical expenses that arise due to illness. Health insurance is essential to protect people from catastrophic expenditure (excessive costs) when they need care. In many developed nations, health insurance is one of the social welfare programs institutionalized to promote citizen welfare. In these countries, payment for health insurance is through taxes and compulsory for all, and this makes enough funds available for the treatment of sick citizens. Because of the absence of a wide tax net in many developing countries, Nigeria inclusive, a contributory approach was adopted. With the contributory process, enrollees purchase health insurance plans by approaching health insurance organizations, which pay for their health services when required.

Young people usually consider themselves “invincible” , this is because people in this age group are relatively healthier than other age groups and require less healthcare service utilization. This feeling of invincibility makes young people consider themselves not needing health insurance, especially when it is voluntary. However, nothing can be farther from the truth. Young people need health insurance as much as older people do.

Why Do Young and Healthy People Need Health Insurance?

  1. Health Is Uncertain: Health is uncertain, which means being healthy today does not in any way imply being healthy tomorrow. You may suffer from an injury requiring medical treatment, develop malaria, or any other disease for that matter. This is why health insurance was instituted to act as a cushion for your finances whenever the need for healthcare arises, and this affects everyone – whether young and healthy or old and immunocompromised. Without any health insurance, you will be responsible for 100% of your healthcare when the need arises; with health insurance, however, the cost is reduced and, in some cases, completely free.
  2. Preventive Medicine is for the Healthy: Health is a state of wellness, not just the absence of disease. Wellness can be achieved through preventive practices including: immunization and access to sexual and reproductive health services. These services are essential to keep us out of hospitals and make us stay healthy. Enrolling in a health insurance scheme makes this easier.
  3. Social Responsibility: Health insurance was created to build a system where sick people do not solely bear the responsibility of the cost of healthcare which is everything but cheap. This shared responsibility becomes better and more effective with more participation, i.e., when those who are whole and healthy join hands with sick people through a health insurance scheme, it makes it possible to use the money generated to cover more sick people and sickness conditions. Almost all of us have come across cases of Nigerians with advanced medical conditions seeking support through crowdfunding on social media and heard stories of those detained due to inability to settle medical bills. Health insurance seeks to correct all these anomalies, but this only becomes possible when we pool resources together through health insurance schemes.

The government of Lagos state has made health insurance compulsory. It also provided affordable health insurance for all Lagosians through the Lagos State Health Scheme, also known as Ilera ggfvtfttttEko. Ilera Eko offers health insurance for individuals at the rate of N8,500 per annum for an individual and N40,000 per annum for a maximum of a family of six. As an enrollee of this scheme, you can access free healthcare services covered by the scheme’s benefits package in an accredited facility of your choice in Lagos State.

Currently, Ilera Eko has more than 200 accredited facilities across all the state’s local government areas, and it has more than 400,000 people enrolled on the scheme, this includes people of all age groups. You also can join them today by registering here.

REFERENCES

Lagos State Health Scheme Benefit Package https://www.lashma.com/health-plan/

Register on Lagos State Health Scheme https://platform-selfregistration.com/



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