GIFSHIP (Group Individual and Family Social Health Insurance Programme)

GIFSHIP which means Group Individual and Family Social Health Insurance Programme was launched by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire on Thursday 26th November 2020.

What is GIFSHIP?

GIFSHIP is a health insurance package that is specifically designed to give easy coverage to Nigerians who are not covered in the other already exiting insurance packages or by their employers. This new package will be added to the other packages already run by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The government said that the scheme will use robust information and communications technology infrastructure for the verification of enrolees, its management, and access to care.

These infrastructures will also be used for data collection and analysis which will help develop a disease map which is vital for the management of public health in Nigeria.

This scheme will be utilizing the e-NHIS framework (an electronic medical records and management system) that was recently approved by the Nigerian Ministry of Health.

Up to 70 per cent of Nigerians pay their healthcare out of pocket despite the fact that NHIS has been in existence for about 15 years because they were not covered as no existing NHIS package was available for their registration. GIFSHIP will help reduce out-of-pocket financing of health care by Nigerians, and Mr Ehanire said it will reshape how healthcare is financed in Nigeria.

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Packages and cost of GIFSHIP

GIFSHIP packages include the following and can be upgraded.

  1. Individual GIFSHIP package: covers an individual with at most two direct dependents. That is maximum of three people at the rate of forty-five thousand naira per anuum. This can be upgraded to the group GIFSHIP package at any time. For instance, a newlywed couple may enroll with the individual package but later upgrade to the family or group package as the family size expands.
  2. Family package: Covers a family with four biologically related dependents. This package costs sixty thousand Naira and an additional fifteen thousand Naira for each extra dependent of the family be it father, mother niece, nephew or cousin.
  3. Group GIFSHIP package: This package has a minimum number of ten persons with each enrollee contributing fifteen thousand Naira. The cost of this package is one hundred and fifty naira.

How to register for GIFSHIP

The implementation of GIFSHIP will be facilitated by the e-NHIS project. This project which will also facilitate verification of identity, access to care and health information/data management. This is to be done in collaboration with the national identity management commission(NIMC). Therefore, every prospective enrollee is required to present his/her NIMC card or slip before enrolment into GIFSHIP. Each enrollee is given a personal e-card which allows access to treatment anywhere in the country. Enrolment is done at NHIS state and/or Zonal offices nationwide.

After registration and payment, the contributor chooses a health maintenance organization (HMO) and health care facility (HCF) from a list of accredited HMOs and HCFs which will be provided.

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Eligibility for GIFSHIP

Those who are eligible for membership of GIFSHIP include:

  • Small scale enterprises with less than ten staff
  • Self-employed individuals, families and groups
  • Those who have retired from active service
  • Associations, unions and institutions outside the organized private sector
  • Adopted persons who are paid for by philanthropists, politicians, foundations, trusts and organizations. Adoption may be specific or non-specific. The rotary club enrolled a group of special needs children during the launch and will be their sponsors for the next one year. This is an example of specific adoption. Well-meaning individuals can also enroll their benefactors, domestic workers and extended family members. For non-specific adoption, the contributor may pay for a specific number of people at a particular location and NHIS moves to the location to enroll the number of people being paid for. An example is a senator or house of assembly member paying to sponsor a specific number of constituency members in his/her locality.

BenefitS of GIFSHIP

The main benefit of this scheme is that it will enable individuals who were not eligible for other NHIS packages and families to join the NHIS ecosystem. It promises to give those enrolled on the scheme easier access to services and better value for their money.

What will GIFSHIP cover?

This scheme will cover the same things covered by other packages within the NHIS. The programme provides primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare level services to enrollees. There is a three-month waiting period after registration before contributors can access care. This period is the time when administrative processes by NHIS is being carried out. Subscribers are expected to renew subscription at least two months before expiration.

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What is its Objective

The major objective of GIFSHIP is to healthcare insurance coverage in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage as nobody should be left behind.

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About the author

Nwasom is a pharmacy graduate and a pharmacist currently practising in the United Kingdom. I have great experience communicating with patients and their family as gained through working as a pharmacist in both the hospital and community pharmacy sector. I love writing so it was a natural thing to try and pass medical and health information on through writing.