The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), has explained that delays in the release of funds from the Consolidated Fund to the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) are sometimes unavoidable.
“Collections of the National Health Insurance Levies (NHIL) into the Consolidated Fund occur over a period, and therefore releases into the NHIF may sometimes delay,” the Authority explained in a statement.
The statement is in response to concerns reiterated by the Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, in a press conference on May 10.
The Authority indicated that GHS 1,393 million was released by the Ministry of Finance into the National Health Insurance Fund within the year 2021.
But after the application of standard accounting reporting principles by the Authority, a GH1,266.14 million was treated as payment for liabilities of the government to it
“This left an amount of GH127 million, which in the standard accounting reporting framework was attributed to the 2021 financial year,” the Authority explained.
The NHIA also said its claims payment arrangement meant the scheme will always be in arrears to its service providers.
“By an agreement, providers have 60 days to submit their claims whilst the NHIA has 90 days to vet, process, and pay. Based on this, an accurate arrears position will be difficult to be determined at any point in time as this will depend on when claims are submitted to the NHIA,” it explained.
“For example, between 25 – 30% of healthcare providers have submitted their October to December 2021 (last quarter) claims as of March 2022. It will be quite erroneous to state emphatically that the NHIA owes GH2.5 billion to providers for claims submitted to March 2022,” the Authority added.
Despite the challenges, the NHIA touted its active membership at an all-time high of 16.75 million members, amounting to approximately 54 percent of Ghana’s population at the end of 2021.