January 24, 2022

FG plans Health Insurance for senior citizens

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THE Federal Government is planning a health insurance scheme for the nation’s senior citizens.

Already, the government, under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Health, has established a Ministerial Committee to look into the issue of providing health insurance for senior citizens.

Executive Secretary, ES, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, who gave this hint, informed that PTAD and representatives of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners are members of this committee. “We are consequently in collaboration with some of our stakeholders including the National Health Insurance Scheme, the National Senior Citizens Centre, and Federal Ministry of Health, to see how making health insurance available to our pensioners can be a reality. We will continue to prioritise the welfare of our pensioners and we call on all the Pension Unions under the Defined Benefit Scheme, and other stakeholders for their support in achieving this feat.

The ES recalled that as part of efforts to make life easier for retirees, “On the 12th of October 2021, PTAD formally launched the I Am Alive confirmation platform, an online application to confirm that pensioners on our monthly pension payroll are alive and should continue to receive their pension. This is a web-based platform designed to enable our pensioners easily confirm their aliveness from the comfort of their homes or neighbourhood using either a smart phone or a computer system. This solution takes the pensioner through a three-step confirmation process that ends with a text message response.

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“The Directorate has decided to deploy the application in phases, starting with 50,000 pensioners cut across the four operational departments and the six geo-political zones, selected to participate in this pilot phase. On the successful implementation of this pilot phase, we will deploy the application on a full scale at predetermined intervals on a continuous basis for all verified pensioners on the payroll.

“We will conduct the exercise here on all of you as you have been informed, so you can see and understand how it works. Other pensioners who are part of this pilot phase have equally been notified by PTAD via SMS. We earlier promised that the era of bringing out our aged pensioners for field verification is over, and we stand by our promise.”