Purchasing Access to Healthcare for Older People: An Assessment of the Old-Age Exemption Policy Under Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme

Fidelia A. A. Dake , University of Ghana

Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is among the few programmes in Africa that exempts older people from paying for health insurance. This study investigates whether the old-age exemption policy under Ghana’s NHIS provides health insurance coverage for older people and examines factors associated with old-age exemption under the NHIS. Descriptive statistics, chi-square test and binary logistic regression were used in analysing data from 1,704 older people in the 2012-2013 Ghana Living Standards Survey. The findings indicate that only about 4 in 10 older people had health insurance coverage and only 1 in 10 were beneficiaries of the old-age exemption policy, with majority (78.4%) still paying premiums. Older people who are 80+ years, poor or live in rural areas were less likely to be exempt under the NHIS. The old-age exemption policy is not reaching those who need it most, thus failing to provide financial risk protection for older people.

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 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging