Insurance Covering for Fertility Treatments in Nigeria
Health is Wealth they say, this is true of course and it is for this reason that some countries in the United Kingdom (UK), Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway offer Universal Health Care support for their citizens as poor state of health would mean low productivity rate or even worse. As a result, health care coverage is provided by the state and is seen as every citizen’s right along with public education, the police, firefighters, street lighting, and public road networks, as a part of a public service for the nation. In other countries, such as the USA, health insurance coverage is seen differently – with the exception of some groups, such as elderly and/or disabled people, veterans and some others, it is the individual’s responsibility to be insured. Although these two categories have different methods or policies in place the key thing to note is that there is utmost regard for health.
So, let’s bring it down here to our beloved country; Nigeria. Does Nigeria have any of such for the citizens or is it, ‘to your tent O’ Israel? It’s a common saying, at least on Twitter, that Nigerians have no chill at all. So, I’ll just answer these questions before you start getting ill thoughts. Just so you know, the government does have plans like these in place. In fact, the 1999 constitution made provision for the establishment of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to improve the health of all Nigerians at an affordable cost. The scheme is aimed at providing easy access to healthcare for all Nigerians through various prepayment systems. The Scheme is also mandated to maintain high standard of healthcare delivery services and ensure adequate and equitable distribution of healthcare costs among the different income groups. You can see that Naija does have us in mind and that at least is a good start.
NHIS also regulates private health Insurance operated by HMOs. HMOs are a group of medical insurance providers that limit coverage to medical aid provided from doctors that are under the contract of H.M.O. The amount/funds are pooled, allowing the Health Maintenance Organisations(HMOs) to pay for those needing medical attention. These contracts allow for premiums to be lower since the health providers have the advantage of having patients directed to them; but these contracts also add additional restrictions to H.M.O.’s members. H.M.O. subscribers pay a monthly or annual premium to access medical services in the organization’s network of providers but are also limited to receiving healthcare from these contracted medical providers. An insured must get his care and services from doctors under the H.M.O. network, however, some out-of-network medical care can be covered under the H.M.O. These types of services include emergency care and dialysis.
Fertility tests and treatments including IVF Treatment are quite expensive. A cycle of IVF treatment in the Nigerian Naira ranges from One Million (₦1,000,000) to One Million, Five Hundred Thousand (₦1,500,000). This could be scary for some people and even cause them to lose hope of having children of their own. But just like in developed countries, the H.M.O. plays a role that gives a soft landing for the individuals by offering them something they can work with so they don’t have to pay through their noses or their teeth.
Believe it or not, H.M.O. is such a great help to many, I mean, how many can easily afford medical treatments for themselves and their families talk more of the rather expensive treatments like chemotherapy, dialysis or even fertility treatments like IVF treatments. With the advent of H.M.O. it has become easier to access medical treatments either at discounted prices or even installments.
BENEFIT OF USING H.M.O. FOR FERTILITY TREATMENTS
- It helps reduce the pressure on couples especially in the case of finance as there is little or no worry at all in this regard and as such, they can be a little bit relaxed and channel their energy to the treatment process. With the Nigerian economy today, personally paying for fertility treatments especially IVF can increase your blood pressure but with the help of H.M.O. the pressure is regulated, to a large extent.
- It gives the feeling of hope. There is less concern as the payments could be made in installments with the H.M.O. fully covering the costs. It could also be done in an entirely different manner based on the arrangement with the H.M.O. or even at a discounted cost to your advantage.
· ClearLine HMO: This HMOs Corporate Health Insurance Scheme and family/individual policy provide for infertility services such as SFA (Seminal Fluid Analysis), HSG (Hysterosalpingogram), and Hormonal profile.
· Zenith Medicare A.K.A. Venus Medicare: Their Super health plan provides for Basic investigations (e.g. Semen analysis, HSG), Simple surgical intervention, and Non-hormonal drug treatment after one-year membership.
· Health care security limited: Their standard and Executive plans offer Basic investigation (e.g. HSG), Simple surgical intervention, and Non- hormonal drug treatment after one-year membership.
· Princeton Health group: The couple plan offers fertility investigations.
- Hygeia H.M.O.: The Hygeia H.M.O. specifically offers the HYMAMA IVF Bundle. This plan affords you 4 IVF sessions with a 45% cash back in case of failure of all sessions. The bundle includes 2 full cycles and 2 embryo transfers (In the case where there are no extra embryos to transfer, the woman will be entitled to 3 full cycles).