National Council set up to Boost Health Insurance

ADDIS ABABA – Authorities set up a national council to provide support for the expansion of Community Based Health Insurance (CBHI) as part of their quest to achieve universal health coverage in Ethiopia.

The Council, Chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, is also tasked with starting a Social Health Insurance for the formal sector.

The National Health Insurance Council officially began its work on Saturday in an event that marked the 10-year anniversary of the implementation of the CBHI.

The ministry of health started the community-based health insurance scheme a decade ago as a pilot project in 13 districts of four regions.

The scheme, which aims to ease off the pressure of health-related expenses on low-income families, pools members’ premium payments into a collective fund to cover basic healthcare costs at health centers when a member is sick.

Currently, the Community Based Health Insurance covers 894 districts reaching more than 45 million people across Ethiopia.

Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse indicates that the insurance scheme has managed to achieve its objective and registered significant results.

“A study demonstrated its impact in increasing health service utilization, reducing catastrophic out-of-pocket expenditure, and bringing more resources to the health system,” Dr. Lia said.

The Health Minister says the newly launched “Council will provide support to expand Community Based Health Insurance” as well as “start the Social Health Insurance for the formal sector.”

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