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Health Insurance: Nigerian Youths Suffering A Great Deal

Even if enticing, a brief look at the above importance of health insurance and the many types of health insurance may deter unemployed Nigerian youth who have no other source of money.
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By Grace Ayuba Manga

Health Insurance - Violence escalated after two weeks of street protests in Nigeria, as witnesses accused soldiers of shooting and killing several demonstrators.

Sometimes it's due to ignorance, and other times it's due to a lack of resources that investing in Health Insurance has been delisted from many Nigerians. When it comes to health, the average Nigerian youth has no contingency plan for unavoidable health problems. The ordinary Nigerian youth spends very little time considering the value of health insurance in his life.

The Nigerian youth feels that as long as he is young, he should be healthy, and hence pays little or no attention to matters like health insurance. However, when one grows older and their health begins to decline, they recognize the need of having health insurance coverage.

Engaging in health insurance from a young age is a good financial option because it provides coverage for medical, surgical, drug prescription, and sometimes dental expenses in the near or distant future, depending on the type of health insurance plan one has chosen.

When you consider the unemployed Nigerian kid who has no source of income, it becomes nearly impossible for him to participate in any type of health insurance.

In Nigeria, health care is generally prohibitively expensive. A single visit to the doctor's office might cost thousands of Naira, and almost always, even in emergency situations, one is expected to submit a deposit before being seen. A three-day hospital stay, on average, depletes practically all of a person's assets, with total treatment costs going into the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, depending on the type of care delivered and the sort of hospital, clinic, or health centre.

When an unemployed Nigerian kid is ill, he usually cannot afford to pay such enormous sums, especially when the amount of care required is unclear.

As a result, health insurance is expected to provide options for lowering these expenditures to more manageable levels. The way it works is that you pay a premium to a health insurance company upfront, and that payment allows you to share your "risks" with a group of other people who are also paying a premium. And, because not everyone is sick all of the time, the premium money given to the insurance company can be used to pay the costs of the relatively few people who become ill or wounded.

Insurance firms have done significant research into risk, and their purpose is to collect enough premiums to pay their clients' medical expenses.

The significance of health insurance in our lives as individuals, regardless of age, cannot be overstated, but let us look at a few of the reasons why.

  1. Pharmaceutical Care: Pharmacology (a branch of medicine and pharmaceutical sciences concerned with drug or medication action) is critical in modern medicine, which is why drug prescriptions are covered by health insurance plans. Even though the amount covered varies by plan, pharmaceutical insurance will always cover drug prescriptions and the issuing of medications as needed.
  2. Routine Care: This includes laboratory tests, physical examinations, injections, and vaccines, among other things. Routine visits may be covered, but only to a limited extent, depending on the degree of health care provided by the insurance plan.
  3. Chronic Condition Treatment: The majority of the cost of treating a chronic condition is usually covered by insurance. As long as there isn't a pre-existing ailment or illness. When necessary, the coverage frequently allows for multiple treatments, ongoing testing, and exclusive medication.
  4. Medical Assistance in an Emergency: Health insurance will always cover a variety of medical emergencies. Drug overdoses, car accidents, heart attacks, acute illnesses, unexpected injuries, and natural disasters are just a few examples.

When it comes to health insurance, there are a few different sorts of plans to consider:

  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): A PPO plan is a health insurance plan that is provided by a preferred provider organization. Employees are encouraged to use a network of preferred doctors and hospitals under this health insurance plan. Out-of-network services can result in greater out-of-pocket expenditures for a PPO plan.
  • HMO (Health Maintenance Organization): An HMO is a health maintenance organization that offers health insurance. Employees spend less money out of pocket with this plan. However, as compared to other plans, it offers less choice in terms of choosing doctors and hospitals.
  • Point of Service (POS): A POS is a health insurance plan that is sold at a point of service. It includes the benefits of both an HMO and a PPO, and it may require employees to select a primary physician.
  • EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization): EPO is a health insurance plan offered by an exclusive provider organization. They, like HMOs, have a network of doctors that members must use unless they are in an emergency.
  • Indemnity: Indemnity is a fee-for-service health insurance coverage. It pays a fixed percentage of the costs of covered services to the member.

Even if enticing, a brief look at the above importance of health insurance and the many types of health insurance may deter unemployed Nigerian youth who have no other source of money.

So, what can be done about it? Should the unemployed Nigerian youth stay in idleness and wait for the government to give them a job before purchasing a health insurance package, or should he wait for the government's free temporary health care services, which may or may not reach him? Should he just let fate take its course when he inevitably becomes ill, or should he do everything he can to avoid becoming ill in the first place?

So, who is it that the accusatory finger should be directed at? Should it be directed at the government for failing to provide job opportunities for the country's youth? Should blame be placed on private sectors, businesses, and organizations for not hiring just anyone, or on the youth for being lazy and unable to find work?

Because, at the end of the day, if you don't have a stable source of income, you won't be able to purchase any health insurance package or any type of insurance package for that matter.

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