Governor Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State has inaugurated a contributory health insurance programme for the state with a commitment of government to pay for the poor. While launching the scheme at the Government House in Yola this week, he said government would support those who are unable to contribute due to financial inadequacy because the programme is meant to would provide health insurance coverage for all residents of the state irrespective of their financial capacities.
“The aim of the scheme is to create a platform for the collection of contributions from all citizens who are willing and able to pay. In addition, it will provide governmental support for those who are unable to contribute due to financial inadequacy. Overall, the scheme is intended to pool resources that will enable the provision of health insurance coverage for all residents of Adamawa State,” Governor Bindow said.
He added that launching the scheme would move the state closer to its goal of achieving universal healthcare coverage for all its residents, particularly for the financially under-privileged. Speaking earlier in the course of the launch of the state health insurance scheme, Dr. Fatima Atiku Abubakar, commissioner for health, said the scheme would redress the burden of out-of-pocket payment for health services and curtail high disease burden in rural areas. She disclosed that the state had set aside an initial sum of N600 million in the 2019 budget as capitalisation of the scheme, adding that the new health insurance law had committed the state government to contribute one per cent of its annual consolidated revenue to pay for the poor through an equity fund.
“This would result in the availability of sufficient fund to pay for the healthcare insurance premiums of poor pregnant women, children and men throughout the state,” Dr. Abubakar said, adding that an exercise to identify the very poor for whom the state would pay premium “is currently ongoing.” The health insurance law provides that someone in the informal sector, mostly the self-employed, would pay per head annually to be entitled to healthcare any time of the year without having to make any further payment.