Health Policy Project

The Health Policy Project ended in 2016. Work continued under Health Policy Plus (HP+) until 2022.


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Scaling Up National Health Insurance in Nigeria: Learning from Case Studies of India, Colombia, and Thailand
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Author(s): Arin Dutta, Charles Hongoro

Primary Language: English

Date: 3/4/2013


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.

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The Health Policy Project is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development under Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-10-00067, beginning September 30, 2010. The project's HIV-related activities are supported by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It is implemented by Futures Group, in collaboration with Plan International USA, Avenir Health (previously Futures Institute), Partners in Population and Development, Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO), Population Reference Bureau (PRB), RTI International, and White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA). The information provided on this Web site is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

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