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Obaseki approves free health insurance for Edo pensioners, vigilante operatives, others

18 Dec 2023

L-R: Notie Oghosaghase Ame; Director-General, Edo State Health Insurance Commission, Dr. Rock Amegor, and Director, Legal Service, Dr. John Bosseh, during a press conference, in Benin City, on Tuesday, December 19, 2023.

…recommits to Universal Health Coverage

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has approved the provision of free health insurance for pensioners in the State to cater to the health needs of the senior citizens.

The Director-General of the Edo State Health Insurance Commission, Dr. Rock Amegor said the free health insurance service will also cover operatives of the State’s Security Vigilante Network.

Amegor, who disclosed this while briefing journalists in Benin City, said the government is committed to ensuring quality and affordable healthcare delivery, noting that the service will mitigate out-of-pocket spending for the beneficiaries and facilitate the attainment of Universal Health Coverage for all residents.

Hailing the governor as a pacesetter, Amegor said the government has set out N1bn to cover the free health insurance service to the pensioners and vigilantes, among others.

He noted, “We want to thank the Governor of Edo State for this initiative and for being a pacesetter as Edo State is the second State in Nigeria covering for pensioners for free of charge. I want to use this opportunity to call on all pensioners across the 18 local government areas of Edo State to take advantage and start enrollment as soon as details of enrollment come out.”

According to him, “As part of the government’s initiative for Universal Health Coverage for citizens of the State, Edo State Government led by Governor Godwin Obaseki has decided to cover pensioners across the 18 local government areas of the State free of charge. This initiative has been borne out of the economic downturn as pensioners who have served us should not worry about paying out-of-pocket when they get to the health care facilities as it brings stability to the pensioners.

“The service covered is a robust medical care that can take care of about 70 to 80 percent of all medical challenges expected at one point in our lives and the services include medical, eye care and dental care amongst other care.

“We thank the Edo State Government and are urging other State Governors to emulate Edo State to ensure our pensioners are covered and need not to worry about their health.”

The Director General added, “The government of Obaseki has been digitalized and most of our information from September 1st are now in our electronic system and we are lifting all the over 11,000 details we have gotten from our ICT and will verify those who are alive, relocated, those who need to update their profile.

“After this, in the first quarter of next year, we will reach out to pensioners and allocate facilities closest to their houses.  We need to scrutinize the details as service has started for over 200,000 enrollees. So, to onboard the 12,000 pensioners into the scheme will not be difficult for us.”

He said the onboarding process for pensioners and vigilante operatives will start on Thursday 21st of December 2023, noting, “The onboarding process for pensioners will start on the Thursday 21st of December 2023 at the Festival Hall in Government House and the financial implications cut across not only pensioners but also State Security Network and a few other people. It's in excess of about N1 billion for the coverage of 12,000 pensioners, 4,000 operatives of the Edo State Security Vigilante Network, and a top-up plan. The process will commence in the first quarter of 2024. The government is investing over a billion naira for these people into the Edo Health Insurance Scheme.”

Amegor further stated, “For over two years, we have been giving coverage, and most civil servants are covered by the scheme including their dependents, and today, we have over 200,000 people on the scheme. We have been taking it in bits. We started with the formal sector and then the informal sector. So, we are now focusing on pensioners and those securing our lives.  It’s time to cover them.

“Today, we have about 302 facilities in the scheme which will cover the pensioners and vigilante members as we set criteria that need to be met to benefit from the system.”

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