ABUJA – The Defence Health Maintenance Ltd. (DHML) has called on all Armed Forces retirees to enroll in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) because they were entitled to it.
The Managing Director of DHML, retired Commodore Ahmed Abdulai, told newsmen in an interview in Abuja that the scheme covered both serving and retired military personnel.
DHML, which is the military Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) established in 2006, complements the existing channel of funding for the Armed Forces medical facilities.
It also caters for health needs that fall within “the benefit package of the scheme”.
“Every retiree, no matter how long ago he has served, is entitled to the scheme,” Abdulai said.
According to him, the retirees as well as their spouses and four children below 18 years of age were included in the scheme in December 2013.
“There was an approval that the DHML should extend coverage and register all Armed Forces retirees and their families as well as widows or widowers of deceased armed forces retirees,” he said.
He, however, said that the DHML faced an initial challenge in the fact that many of the retirees were apprehensive about registering because they thought that their pension arrears would be used to finance the scheme.
The managing director also said that since the initial fear was allayed by using officials of the Nigerian Legion in the states and local government areas to sensitise them, a good number of them had been registered.
“We provided the ICT platform, and so, people started registering online; we have registered thousands and many more will be coming on board as the benefits unfold.
“22 state offices have been created and manned for the purpose of registering them anywhere they are in Nigeria.”
“We also connect them with available NHIS accredited hospitals in their respective areas,” he said.
Abdulai said, to be able to capture other retirees, the organisation would boost the enlightenment campaigns through the media.
He urged all others who were not registered with the military HMO to urgently do so in order to access the scheme.