The exorbitant price of health care delivery is the fundamental principle under which health insurance is built.
This is just as Dr. Amooh, CEO of Acacia Health Insurance Company puts it in an interview with Ghana Talks Business
“Health care is expensive, irrespective of financial status”.
Dr. Armooh, in his interview, explained that the main reason why living without health insurance is risky, is the financial burden it creates, in the event of ailment. High medical bills can take a toll on any individual, and without the ability to pay for your medical bills you are faced with the reality of the inevitable, in your medical struggle.
Even for those who can afford to pay for their medical bills, Dr. Armooh rhetorically asked, what if there comes a time when you cannot afford to pay for your medical bill?
Health insurance, therefore, protects you from carrying such financial burden during that moment of medical crisis.
Why the poor investment in health?
Most Ghanaians are seemingly disinterested in accessing health insurance policy, especially from private practitioners. Although the National Health Insurance has caught on with the populace, service often times comes with limitations, such as unavailability of prescribed drugs on the national insurance cover, and the limited number of healthcare institutions providing NHIS service.
Dr. Armooh blames the lack of interest in health insurance in Ghana, on the history of Ghana’s health care system. Prior to the commencement of the National Health Insurance, in 2004, most Ghanaians were used to paying for services themselves, or relying on friends and family. This has been engraved in the minds of many, he explained.
According to Dr. Armooh during the early years of the NHIS, there was a huge buy-in by Ghanaians. Unfortunately, the usage of health insurance surged beyond the available financing. Due to the mismatch, healthcare institutions were not paid for services they were offering. Hence, some institutions reverted to the use of cash and carry system. This unfortunately led to mistrust in the health insurance system, thus leading to the lack of interest.
The Way forward
Drawing from above, Ghanaians must alter the practice of total reliance on own income, or assistance from friends and family to cater for health care needs. The time to make the transition to accept health insurance policy, is now. Health insurance creates security and ease of access to healthcare. Healthcare is a matter of life and death, and must not depend on possible assistance from friends and family.
Ghanaians must also embrace private health insurance service providers such as ACACIA Health,. Private Health Insurance serves as support to the National Health Insurance Scheme, especially with services which are outside the scope of the NHIA.
Health is the most valuable asset of every individual. Good health gives us opportunity to make income, earn a living, and be there for our families. Investing in our health must be one of our foremost considerations. This which implies taking on a health insurance policy.
Look out for our next article on how to select the health insurance policy that gives you value