The Health Policy Project has ended, but work continues under a new USAID five-year project, Health Policy Plus (HP+).
Author(s): Arin Dutta, Charles Hongoro
Primary Language: English
Expanding access to health insurance is an important part of an overall strategy to achieve universal health coverage (UHC). Since its launch in 1999, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has been Nigeria’s major initiative to expand health insurance in the country. To support this endeavor, the Health Policy Project conducted case studies of the experience of three countries—Colombia, India, and Thailand—as they developed government policies as a strategy to achieve universal health coverage (UHC). The lessons learned should be useful for Nigerian stakeholders involved in expanding and improving the NHIS, as well as for stakeholders in any country facing similar challenges. How health insurance expansion features in a UHC strategy depends on the resources available to the government via general taxation; the growth and maturity of private voluntary health insurance markets; and, most important, the state of the health system across primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare. Our case studies suggest that pragmatic choices made by lower-middle and middle-income governments—a group where Nigeria may be placed—have involved hybrid health financing models.