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Embrace private health insurance schemes - Public urged

BY: Benjamin Xornam Glover
 Rev. Dr Abraham Nana Opare Krakye (right) being assisted by Mr Percy Asare Ansah, CEO of Premier Health Insurance, to unveil the logo for the 10th anniversary celebration of the company
Rev. Dr Abraham Nana Opare Krakye (right) being assisted by Mr Percy Asare Ansah, CEO of Premier Health Insurance, to unveil the logo for the 10th anniversary celebration of the company

The Chief Executive Officer of Premier Health Insurance, Mr Percy Asare Ansah, has urged Ghanaians to embrace private health insurance schemes to improve access to healthcare financing and quality service delivery.

He said contrary to the perception that private health insurance mainly targeted the privileged in society, it was rather meant for all segments of the society to complement the public scheme.

Mr Ansah encouraged Ghanaians to embrace health insurance, including private health insurance, saying it remained the best option for healthcare financing in the country.

Mr Ansah made the call in an interview with the Daily Graphic during the launch of the 10th anniversary celebration of Premier Health Insurance at Nungua in the Greater Accra Region.

He said healthcare anywhere in the world was generally expensive.

“There is no free health care, so there is the need for all to come together and contribute to a pool so that anytime somebody is sick, there will be enough funds to take care of the person,” he said.

“Health insurance has been identified as one of the best means of funding the ever-increasing healthcare cost in our country and the world over,” he added.

Private sector support

Mr Ansah said although private health insurance system offered an alternative health financing vehicle, its uptake in the country was low, at less than one per cent of Ghana’s population, meaning out of the country’s 30 million or more population, only about 230,000 people had subscribed to private health insurance.

“Generally, income levels in Ghana are low, so the kind of premiums that people need to pay to be able to get quality health insurance is a little bit limited.

“We need a lot of intervention from the government’s side so that once people are paid well, they will be able to afford health insurance,” he said.

He said as a health insurance company with a strong conviction of making access to affordable and quality health care for all, Premier Health Insurance had devised specific products to cater for the health needs of low-income earners.

Mr Ansah cited the Teachers and Government Workers Plan, which specifically targeted workers in the public sector, as a typical example of how private health insurance had gradually become a pro-poor health insurance intervention.

He said Premier Health Insurance also offered a scheme that allowed Ghanaians living abroad to pay for the health insurance of their relatives back home to secure the health of their relatives.

Small beginnings

Starting as a small private enterprise with a single staff in 2011, Premier Health Insurance’s staff strength now stands at 52 permanent employees, seven contract staff, and 42 sales agencies operating from seven branches of the company in Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Sunyani, Takoradi, Koforidua and Tamale.

The company currently controls almost 30 per cent of the market share in the private health insurance space, with a client base of 84,168, making it the number one private health insurance company in the country.

Legacy vision

At the launch of the 10th anniversary celebration of Premier Health Insurance, the Chairperson for the Ga Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev. Dr Abraham Nana Opare Kwakye, congratulated management and staff of the company for the success chalked up within the last decade.

He advised management not to be complacent, but to press on for greater heights in the private health insurance space and become not just a national company, but a global organisation offering the best in healthcare financing.

“I want Premier Health Insurance to be legacy minded. Leaving behind a great legacy, something that will be so huge that when people come to celebrate later on, we will see what God has done,” he said.

Activities lined up for the anniversary include health talk, Customer Service Week, donation to charity, health walk and games, breast cancer awareness event, thanksgiving service and an awards night.