Lagos State Health Scheme Expands Health Insurance Coverage to Poor, Vulnerable, and Key Populations
In a bid to accelerate universal health coverage, Nigeria’s Lagos State is expanding access to essential services, releasing money from its equity fund and enrolling thousands of poor and vulnerable citizens into its state-level health insurance scheme.
About four-fifths of the 24 million people in Nigeria’s Lagos State live below the poverty line. With daily earnings of less than US$1.90, most Lagos residents cannot afford to pay for essential healthcare without risking catastrophic financial consequences. In response, and to advance its universal health coverage targets, the Lagos State government committed to ensuring access to quality health services for all residents, regardless of their economic, social, and/or cultural backgrounds. HP+ is supporting the Lagos State government to expand enrollment into its state health insurance scheme, with a special focus on poor and vulnerable communities, including orphans, vulnerable children, people living with HIV, and other key populations.
In August 2021, HP+ collaborated with key actors and other implementing partners, including the Association for Reproductive and Family Health and Heartland Alliance, to facilitate the inclusion of orphans and vulnerable children and key populations into the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme. HP+ also advocated for the release of resources from the state’s equity fund—an annual contribution by the government that enables them to provide healthcare services to poor and vulnerable communities—as well as advocated for key populations, orphans, and vulnerable children to be prioritized as beneficiaries. These efforts led to the release of 100 million Nigerian naira (a little over US$2,400) as part of the equity fund contribution by the government and the enrollment of 11,764 poor and vulnerable individuals, including 1,000 orphans and vulnerable children and 280 individuals from key populations. HP+ has further secured a commitment from the Lagos State Health Management Agency to enroll an additional 11,570 orphans, vulnerable children, and people living with HIV using the next tranche of equity funds.
To further expand coverage and access to basic healthcare services, HP+ supported the Lagos State government to access Nigeria’s Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF)—a national effort that seeks to remove financial barriers to accessing primary healthcare, particularly for the poor and vulnerable. The transfer of funds from the federal government to Lagos State under the BHCPF has facilitated the enrollment of 55,000 people, including people living with HIV, across the state’s 20 local government areas. HP+ support has contributed to the increase in the number of people enrolled in health insurance to 526,846, ensuring their access to care and protection from catastrophic healthcare expenses.