Tanzania: NHIF Set Ambitious Enrollment Target

THE National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) targets to cover between 30 and 50 per cent of Tanzanians with its health insurance services by June next year as it rolls out new treatment packages today.

Looking to improve further its services, the Fund is finalizing processes to introduce online registration for new members, thus getting rid of paper-based registration.

The new digital system will be launched soon as the Fund aligns its services with egovernment system, according to NHIF General Director Bernard Konga.

Currently the number of beneficiaries of the Fund stands at 4,600,000, which is only eight per cent of the country's population.

"Out of every 100 Tanzanians, only eight are covered, this is a very small amount so we want to reach between 30 and 50 per cent in the next six months.

We may be seen too ambitious but this is what we target," the NHIF boss, Konga said.

He explained that efforts were meant to promote the Universal Health Insurance Coverage which is expected to put every Tanzanian under the scheme.

The new scheme is expected to give room for Tanzanians to enjoy more affordable healthcare services. It involves new packages namely; Najali Afya Premium, Wekeza Afya Premium and Timiza Afya.

Ahead of the official launch, the Fund conducted a free health screening exercises along with a public registration campaign, which commenced on Monday at Mnazi Mmoja Ground.

The new packages' breakdown shows that the package for individual persons between the age group of 18 to 35 years-old will cost a fee ranging from 192,000/- to 516,000/-, while people falling in the 36-59 age category cough up 240,000/- to 612,000/- , and as for 60 years and above the packages will range from 360,000/- to 984,000/- The list shows that couples with more than one child will contribute between 612,000/- and 1,644,000/-.

Under the health plan, every citizen will get a chance to enroll as per his/her needs, be it an individual, couples or a person and children.

The Najali Afya Premium package comprises of services such as up to 30 days admission for in-patients in each year, laboratory services and radiology, while antenatal care will be issued after two years of enrollment under this scheme.

As for Wekeza Afya Premium, beneficiaries will be eligible for in-patient services and admission of up to 45 days, antenatal care after the first year of enrolment and specialist surgeries.

Other services on offer are laboratory, radiology, ultrasound and CT Scans, can be acquired after the first year of membership.

Meanwhile, the Timiza Afya package comprises of up to 60 days of inpatient services, antenatal services after the first year, specialised surgeries and other basic services applicable in other packages.

All the beneficiaries will be eligible to acquire services at the level of the dispensary to regional referral hospitals. A report released last year by religious leaders under the umbrella of Interfaith Tanzania, including the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), Bakwata and the CCT indicated that 64 per cent of Tanzanians had no health insurance cover.

Statistics show that 32 per cent of Tanzanians have health insurance cover, of which eight per cent have subscribed to NHIF, 23 per cent are members of Community Health Fund (CHF), while only one per cent are members of private health insurance companies.

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