Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya says deductions for the Health Insurance Scheme, from both employee earnings and employer contributions, will begin in August 2019.
And Dr Chilufya says service provision for the health scheme will be effected four months from the month of enforcing the deductions in order to allow for final preparations and testing of the systems.
Meanwhile, Dr Chilufya says companies and institutions which have their own medical schemes will not be exempted from the national scheme.
Dr Chilufya said this when he rendered a ministerial statement to Parliament, Tuesday.
“Working with various stakeholders and Ministry of Justice, we are now finalizing the regulation which will provide for the efficient administration of NHA Act N0.2 of 2018. The regulations will provide detailed procedures governing the registration of employers and beneficiaries, contributions, records and various related provisions. In line with signed collective agreement of 2018, deductions of one per cent or earnings of formal employees and matched by one per cent of employer contribution will begin in August 2019. These contributions will be paid into the fund,” Dr Chilufya said.
He said service provision for the health scheme would be effected four months from the month of enforcing deductions in order to allow for final preparations and testing of the systems as well as to accumulate reserves for solvency of the scheme.
“In sticking to the actuarial variations that are supposed to be the business case, four months waiting period is needed before commencement of service provision. This period allows for final preparations, and testing of the systems as well as accumulate reserves for solvency of the scheme. Further, also note that funds are not immediately required for payments will be invested in short term instruments to enhance solvency of the fund,” he said.
Dr Chilufya added that government would make contributions on behalf of poor people through existing systems under the Ministry of Community Development.
“The scheme will be phased starting with the formally employed, both in public and private sector and will be expanded to include informal sector and vulnerable groups. The government will make contributions on behalf of indigent persons as identified by existing systems under the Ministry of Community Development. Details for contributory rates for the informal sector will be informed by a further analytical work from the first phase to ensure a sustainability of funds,” Dr Chilufya said.
And asked by Kaputa UPND member of parliament Maxas Ng’onga if companies and institutions like Parliament or Zesco which had their own medical schemes would be exempted, Dr Chilufya said it would be compulsory.
“Mr Speaker, the National Health Insurance Act N0.2 of 2018 introduces a national and compulsory health insurance scheme. So everyone will have to contribute and be part of this scheme,” he said.
Dr Chilufya said staff recruitment of the National Health Scheme Insurance management authority had been completed.
“The board of the National Health Insurance Management Authority was inaugurated on 15th March 2019 in accordance with the Act. On staff recruitment, the director general of the National Health Insurance Authority has been appointed and is in place to lead the implementation for the scheme. Staff recruitment is underway and up-to-date, seven initial staff have been recruited. We have concluded feasibility and actuarial studies, we have conducted thorough research and assessments and we have developed a sustainable business case that fits our needs. The analysis and assessment will continue as we gain actual utilization data during implementation phase and the system will be adjusted to iron out any kinks over time,” said Dr Chilufya.