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The Importance of Health Insurance in Nigeria’s Healthcare Landscape

01/05/20246 minute read
The Importance of Health Insurance in Nigeria's Healthcare Landscape

Nigeria is one of the countries whose citizens pay for health care out of their own pockets. Many Nigerians do not have any form of insurance, and they spend a huge amount of money on healthcare, which is not ideal.

The importance of health insurance cannot be ignored. It is a crucial part of modern life that grants access to quality healthcare services. 

In this article, I will explain in clear terms the importance of health insurance in Nigeria’s healthcare landscape. Continue reading to get information on why you should opt for health insurance.

The Importance of Health Insurance in Nigeria

The cost of healthcare in Nigeria is on the rise; thus, adequate health insurance coverage is necessary for individuals and families across the country.

The percentage of Nigerians under a health insurance policy is very low. Statista reports that any health insurance does not cover 97% of Nigeria’s population, and the remaining 3% who are under health insurance are provided with employee health coverage.


The Importance of Health Insurance in Nigeria's Healthcare Landscape
This chart diagram illustrates the health insurance coverage in Nigeria

Health insurance is mandatory in Nigeria. Section 14 (1) of the National Health Insurance Act 2022 (“NHIA”) states that all residents in Nigeria are required to obtain health insurance. However, that is not the case.

Nigerians without formal employment do not have access to affordable healthcare, and they are not under any form of health insurance. This set of people either use their life savings to settle hospital bills or risk losing their lives.

Employers should register themselves and their employees in health insurance schemes to maintain a productive workforce, but most companies do not. They subject their staff to stressful working conditions, leaving them to care for themselves health-wise.

The government should also provide health insurance to disabled and elderly persons, children, and pregnant women.

The National Health Insurance Scheme was established in 1999 to provide accessible, affordable, and universal health care services to all Nigerians. This organization was established to come to the rescue of Nigerians when they need money for healthcare services.


National Health Insurance Scheme registration costs for parents and their children is N9,000 a person. Due to Nigeria’s high poverty rate, many Nigerians cannot afford it.

Health insurance is very good. If you can afford it, go for it. Below are some of the important things to note, as well as the benefits of health insurance in Nigeria.

Access to Standard Healthcare

One of the main importance of health insurance in Nigeria is that it gives you access to quality healthcare services.

The cost of medical treatment in Nigeria is high, and without health insurance, you will experience financial strain when paying for these services. If you are not buoyant enough, you will have no choice but to go for substandard healthcare services, which might pose a risk to your life.

Health insurance helps you seek proper medical care preventive care and receive necessary treatments without delay.


Financial Protection

Having unexpected health problems with high demands can render you penniless, especially if you are not under any health insurance policy.

Health insurance is created for times like this, a period of unforeseen circumstances, to cover your hospital bill and give you access to the best health care.

Paying your health insurance fee is preparing for the worst scenario. When you prepare for emergencies, you will not be caught off guard.

Promoting a Healthy Society

Many people refuse to seek medical help or refuse to go for routine medical checkups because they cannot afford it.  Health insurance plays a vital role in promoting a healthy society because it gives people access to medical services they could not pay for in normal circumstances.

Health insurance helps people prioritize regular check-ups, screenings, and vaccinations and participate in various wellness programs that help people stay healthy and get diagnosed fast.


Save on Medical Bills

When you opt for health insurance, you don’t have to worry about saving money for any health challenge because you are covered.

You can comfortably save for other things and be assured that you are covered by health insurance.

Nothing consumes an individual’s money like prolonged illness; it can render you incapacitated on all fronts. Don’t allow this to be you; protect your money and use your savings for what it was meant for.

Protects from Unexpected High Medical Costs

Health insurance is your saving grace in times of unexpected medical costs. You will not have to borrow money or empty your bank account to have access to good medical treatment.

You will receive free preventive care, such as vaccines, screenings, and check-ups, and also receive quality health treatment.


Peace of Mind

Knowing you are financially protected against unplanned medical expenses will give you peace of mind. You will not have to worry about paying a huge hospital bill or going for regular checkups to know your health condition on time.

Health insurance will give you access to specialist care, help you maintain good health, and improve your quality of life.

In Nigeria, health insurance is important for individuals and families. It helps them have access to quality healthcare services and protect themselves from financial distress due to emergency health challenges. When you are healthy, you are productive, so invest in your health for a better future.

The Bottom Line

The importance of health insurance in Nigeria’s healthcare system is crucial. With the rising costs of healthcare, it is essential for both individuals and families to secure health insurance coverage. Despite the requirement stated in the National Health Insurance Act of 2022, 97% of Nigeria’s population still does not have any form of health insurance. This adds to the strain as individuals have to bear healthcare expenses from their pockets.

Health insurance provides access to healthcare services that would otherwise be unaffordable. It not only offers protection during unforeseen medical emergencies but also encourages a healthier society through regular checkups, screenings, and preventive care measures. Additionally, having health insurance brings peace of mind by safeguarding against costs and allowing individuals to focus on maintaining good health and productivity.


In Nigeria, opting for health insurance means investing in one’s well-being and financial stability. By giving priority to health insurance, individuals and families can confidently navigate the healthcare system complexities, ensuring access to quality healthcare services while protecting themselves from expenses. Ultimately, a healthier populace leads to a productive society emphasizing the critical role of health insurance in Nigeria’s healthcare framework.

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