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Health Insurance: 20 Reasons Why Nigeria Must Prioritize It In 2023.

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, it has become increasingly important for individuals to prioritize their health and well-being. 

Nigeria, being a populous country with a failing health system and unique healthcare challenges, requires its citizens to consider the significance of having adequate health insurance coverage. Nigeria has been striving for years with little or no progress to achieve universal health coverage. 

Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, Nigeria needs 363,000 doctors but has only 24,000?

According to Augusto and co, the rate of insurance penetration in Nigeria is 0.5% as of 2022. Nigerians really need to enroll in the national health insurance scheme because it has become a necessity.

In this article, we will delve into the reasons why Nigerians need health insurance now in 2023 and shed light on the benefits it can offer.

1. The Rising Cost of Medical Care

If you have been living in Nigeria, then you must know that the newly elected president President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has rolled out a lot of plans since he resumed office. Policies like the removal of the fuel subsidy, taxation of local goods and services, market traders, etc.

A liter of petrol is now around 520 per liter. These new measures will also affect the pocket expenses of every individual as the cost of transportation, foodstuffs, drugs, etc will rise.

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The health sector will also feel the brunt and burden of some of these policies as there are no available palliative measures.

Medical expenses are soaring at an alarming rate, making quality healthcare unaffordable for many Nigerians. 

Without health insurance, individuals are left vulnerable to the financial burden associated with unexpected illnesses, hospitalizations, and treatments. 

By securing health insurance, Nigerians can protect themselves and their families from exorbitant medical costs that can potentially derail their financial stability.

2. Access to Quality Healthcare Services

One of the key advantages of having health insurance is improved access to quality healthcare services. With a comprehensive health insurance plan, Nigerians can gain access to a network of healthcare providers, clinics, hospitals, and specialists. This ensures that individuals receive timely and appropriate medical attention, leading to better health outcomes.

3. Preventive Care and Early Detection

Health insurance not only provides coverage for medical emergencies but also emphasizes the importance of preventive care and early detection of diseases.

Through routine check-ups, screenings, and vaccinations like the covid-19 vaccine, individuals can detect potential health issues at an early stage when they are more manageable and less costly to treat.

Regular preventive care can help Nigerians lead healthier lives and prevent the progression of diseases.

4. Financial Security

Having health insurance brings financial security and peace of mind to individuals and families. It acts as a safety net during unexpected health crises, ensuring that the financial burden is mitigated.

Nigerians can focus on their well-being and recovery without the constant worry of medical expenses. Health insurance provides a sense of security, knowing that there is support available during challenging times. Reducing health expenditure is really a plus when it comes to having health insurance.

5. Support for Chronic Conditions

Chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma require ongoing medical attention and management.

 Health insurance plans often provide coverage for these conditions, ensuring that individuals can afford necessary medications, treatments, and regular consultations with healthcare professionals.

 By having health insurance, Nigerians with chronic conditions can better manage their health and improve their quality of life.

6. Health Insurance as an Investment

Health insurance should be seen as an investment in one’s future. It not only protects individuals from the financial burden of healthcare expenses but also encourages a proactive approach to health and well-being.

 By investing in health insurance, Nigerians are making a long-term commitment to their overall health, enabling them to live productive lives and contribute to the nation’s development.

7. Protection Against Medical Emergencies

Medical emergencies can happen unexpectedly and can result in significant financial strain. Health insurance provides a safety net by covering emergency medical expenses, such as ambulance services, emergency room visits, and hospitalization, reducing the financial burden during times of crisis.

8. Access to Medications 

Health insurance often includes coverage for prescription medications, making it more affordable for Nigerians to access necessary medications for acute or chronic conditions. This helps individuals adhere to their prescribed treatment plans, leading to better health outcomes.

9. Mental Health Coverage

 Mental health issues are prevalent in Nigeria, and health insurance can provide coverage for mental health services, including therapy and counseling. This promotes mental well-being and helps individuals seek appropriate care for mental health conditions. Health maintenance organizations like Reliance Health and Avon have comprehensive mental health plans.

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10. Health and Wellness Programs

 Health insurance may offer access to health and wellness programs, such as fitness programs, weight management, and smoking cessation programs. These programs promote healthy lifestyle choices and can help individuals prevent or manage chronic diseases. One of the highest searches for gyms on Google is “Reliance hmo List of Gyms”. This goes to show you how much people care about their fitness levels.

11. Reduced Out-of-Pocket Expenses

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Without health insurance, individuals may have to pay for medical expenses out of pocket, which can be financially burdensome. Health insurance helps reduce out-of-pocket expenses by covering a portion or all of the medical costs, making healthcare more affordable and accessible.

12. Increased Healthcare Utilization

Health insurance encourages individuals to seek appropriate medical care when needed, rather than delaying or avoiding treatment due to financial constraints. This leads to increased healthcare utilization and early intervention, resulting in better health outcomes.

13. Improved Productivity

 Health insurance helps individuals maintain good health, which can lead to improved productivity at work. When individuals have health insurance, they are more likely to seek preventive care, manage chronic conditions, and receive timely medical treatment when needed. This leads to better health outcomes, reduced absenteeism, and improved productivity at work, benefiting both employees and employers.

14. Protection Against Medical Debt

Medical debt is a common problem in Nigeria, with many individuals facing financial hardships due to unexpected medical expenses. Health insurance helps protect against medical debt by covering the cost of medical services, preventing individuals from falling into debt or facing financial ruin due to healthcare costs.

15. Better Health Security and Equity

 Health insurance promotes health equity by ensuring that everyone, regardless of their income level, can access quality healthcare services. It helps bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, providing equal opportunities for healthcare and reducing health disparities among different socio-economic groups.

16. Relief for Low-Income Nigerians

 Many Nigerians struggle with low incomes, and healthcare expenses can be a significant financial burden. Health insurance can provide relief for low-income Nigerians by covering the cost of medical services, medications, and preventive care, making healthcare more affordable and accessible.

17. Enhanced Health Management and Disease Control

Health insurance plays a crucial role in promoting effective health management and disease control strategies. With access to regular medical check-ups and screenings, individuals can proactively monitor their health and identify potential risks.

By detecting diseases early, prompt intervention and appropriate treatment can be initiated, leading to better health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs in the long run. Health insurance empowers Nigerians to take control of their health and make informed decisions regarding their well-being.

18. Support for Maternal and Child Healthcare

Maternal and child healthcare is of paramount importance for the well-being of families and the nation as a whole.

Health insurance provides comprehensive coverage for prenatal care, childbirth, and pediatric services, ensuring that expectant mothers and their children receive the necessary medical attention during critical stages of their lives.

By prioritizing health insurance, Nigerians can safeguard the health and future of their families, promoting healthy development and reducing maternal and child mortality rates.

19. Employment and Economic Advantages

Health insurance coverage is not only beneficial for individuals’ well-being but also holds significant advantages in terms of employment and economic stability.

Many reputable employers offer health insurance as part of their employee benefits package, attracting and retaining top talent. By having health insurance, employees can focus on their work without the burden of healthcare expenses, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Moreover, a healthy workforce contributes to the overall economic growth of the nation by reducing absenteeism, improving work efficiency, and lowering healthcare costs on a broader scale.

20. Peace of Mind

 Lastly, health insurance provides peace of mind for Nigerians, knowing that they have financial protection in case of medical emergencies, access to quality healthcare, and coverage for preventive care and chronic disease management. This peace of mind allows individuals to focus on their health and well-being without the constant worry of financial strain.

The Importance of Educating the Masses

While the benefits of health insurance are undeniable, there is still a need to educate the Nigerian population about its importance. Awareness campaigns, community outreach programs, and collaborations with healthcare providers can play a pivotal role in disseminating information about health insurance and its advantages. By empowering Nigerians with knowledge, we can drive positive change and ensure that more individuals understand the significance of health insurance coverage.


Nigeria, in her efforts to strive towards universal health coverage, should make it a point to include the citizens in this journey. Education about the importance of enrolling in a health insurance policy is needed now more than ever. Every individual, family, and corporate establishment should have health insurance in 2023. Who is your favorite and most reliable HMO? Let us know in the comments section





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