Health insurance is a type of insurance coverage that covers the cost of an insured individual’s medical care. The basic concept of health insurance is simple: You pay a health insurance provider (insurer) a set amount of money called ‘premium’ to guarantee that if you fall sick, your insurer will cover all your medical costs. The cost of your health insurance premium is dependent on some factors including, age, the plan that the insured chooses or if the insured has a pre-existing condition.
Healthcare in Nigeria is expensive relative to the earning power of most Nigerians so having health insurance is important so that you’re not responsible for paying huge healthcare expenses out-of-pocket. Health insurance provides people with a much needed financial backup during times of medical emergencies. You may be tempted to go without health insurance, especially if you are young and rarely get sick. You may even choose to pay out-of-pocket when you come down with minor illnesses however if you have a serious illness or accident things could get ugly quickly as you could find yourself bankrupt. Most Nigerians are one major illness away from poverty. Health risks and uncertainties are part of life. No one plans to get sick but if it happens, one should certainly be prepared for the financial aspect. One of the ways to be financially prepared against uncertain health risks is by buying health insurance.
Apart from covering the cost of treatment, you also get access to preventive care such as tests and screenings, annual check-ups, routine vaccinations, doctor visits at no additional cost to you. Getting recommended preventive care is a key step to help you stay as healthy as possible and identify any medical problems before they can become major.
Choosing the Right Insurer
Before selecting a health insurance provider, it’s important to shop around to find an insurer that offers the best premium, with the amount of coverage you need. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to go through the premiums and coverage benefits of 3-4 different health insurers before choosing one. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at some of the best health insurers:
You could also check in with your doctor to ask which insurers they recommend and which ones they say to avoid. Doctors have the first-hand experience with good and bad insurers, and most will take a few minutes to make some recommendations. Once you’ve picked out a few potential insurers, you’ll want to spend some time researching their policies and coverage benefits so you can choose the best one. Don’t assume all insurance policies are created equal. You’ll want to make sure the insurance policy isn’t setting you up for a potentially difficult and costly claims experience in the future.