A Startup That Makes Health Insurance Services Accessible In Nigeria

Diaspora Health Services (DHI), a health insurance exchange with a mission to improve the health of populations in emerging markets by increasing access to quality healthcare services through health insurance. The brainchild of five US based physicians, the goal is to initially roll out the model in Nigeria with plans expand operations to other countries on the continent.

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Recent events surrounding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the accompanying country level response (or lack thereof) have heightened the awareness of the lack of proper health infrastructure in place. A more chronic concern has been the lack of organized national health insurance schemes, given that on the continent, about half of all health care expenses are out-of-pocket payments. Soaring health care costs remain a major barrier in health seeking behavior and lead to an unequal access to health care. The proliferation of private health practices across many countries has resulted in an increase in the demand for quality health services. However, without insurance, it remains difficult to maintain access to preventative and emergency health care and afford treatment. Diaspora Health Insurance Health Services seeks to change this rhetoric, and offers a paradigm shift.

DHI was created in recognition of the need to improve access to quality medical care in economies and markets where a relatively little amount of federal funding is allocated towards healthcare, primarily in emerging markets. A service provided by Anadach Consulting Group LLC, the company seeks to become the leading provider of health insurance to individuals and families on the African continent. Through this platform, it seeks to engage immigrant populations in developed markets as well as the health system in the markets it serves to improve access to healthcare and strengthen infrastructure while increasing external financial support.

Who it’s for
Services provided through the Diaspora Health Insurance are intended to make an impact on the health sector within emerging markets. With less than ten percent of the population with health insurance coverage, DHI Health services believe that if leveraged appropriately, Diaspora remittances could be used to significantly improve access to quality care medical care by enabling remitters and recipients to target their funds to trusted healthcare providers located in the home country. DHI currently provides services in Nigeria and will expand its offering to other eligible countries in Africa in the next few years.

How it works
Health Insurance plans can be conveniently purchased online by individuals in the Diaspora for their family, friends or anyone they wish. Total Health Trust (THT) manages a network of practicing providers nationwide who have been licensed by the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council. The healthcare facilities have been accredited by the National Health Insurance scheme and states’ accreditation boards.

Diaspora Health Insurance offers patients and customers access to primary care physicians and specialists with expert training and experience in the field:

  • Individuals in the Diaspora contact DHI Health services to obtain information and register potential beneficiaries.
  • Individuals in the Diaspora purchase DHI insurance plans for their loved ones back home in Nigeria.
  • Payment for insurance plans are made into the DHI health services account in the United States.
  • Information on beneficiaries is sent to THT in Nigeria.
  • Beneficiaries in Nigeria go to THT offices to receive their enrollment packages insurance cards may be delivered by courier to beneficiaries’ homes at an additional cost.
  • Enrollment packages contain detailed health insurance information including provider information and location.
  • Beneficiaries receive healthcare services from assigned providers within the insurance agreement after the stipulated waiting period of sixty days.

Current and Future plans
DHI services will initially focus on the sub-Saharan Africa market. The company has contracted with one of the leading health maintenance organizations (HMOs) Total Health Trust Limited (THT) to launch the program initially in Nigeria. THT was founded in 1997 and today has about 300,000 members of subscribers in several regions of Nigeria for about eight percent of the estimated population of the organized private sector with medical insurance coverage.

For more information, visit: DIASPORA HEALTH

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