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Lagos State launches affordable health coverage for Lagos residents, Ilera-Eko.

The Lagos State Government has unveiled Ilera Eko, to market health insurance to residents in the state.

According to the Lagos State Health Insurance Agency (LASHMA), this is in a bid to actualise Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s drive towards achieving statewide universal health coverage.

The General Manager of LASHMA, Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, said Ilera Eko is meant to drive inclusivity in the health insurance coverage available in the state.

She said this while urging residents to enroll for the state’s health insurance scheme to enable them have access to qualitative health care.

“The state is desirous of increasing enrollment substantially from 300,000 subscriber base to at least 3,000,000 enrollees this year,” Zamba said.

She added that the scheme is mandatory for all employees in the public and private sectors, including the self-employed and the unemployed.

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“Keying into health insurance is not because you are sick; it is because you want to have a quality life with your family. We are offering the most affordable benefit package there is in Lagos because we want all the masses to key into it. Health insurance should not be just for the wealthy; it should be for everybody, including those at the grassroots.

“We rolled out properly in the middle of last year and currently we have about 300,000 people already enrolled onto the scheme. Our target is to enroll at least three million people onto the scheme this year. We have also set aside one per cent of the consolidated revenue for those that cannot pay for themselves and used part of the funds to enroll about 400 indigent people and would continue to do so.

“A family of six with children below 18 years of age will pay N40,000; while an individual will pay N8,500 yearly. We have brought people to testify to the goodness of the scheme. We would also be sending out documentaries for people to see because we would not come out with something we cannot guarantee,” Zamba said.

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Lagos’ Health Commissioner, Professor Akin Abayomi, said the overall goal of the state health insurance scheme is to ensure all residents of Lagos have unhindered access to quality healthcare services in an efficient, sustainable, and equitable manner.

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He reiterated that LASHMA is an agency responsible for coordinating all activities that pertain to health insurance in Lagos.

He noted that LASHMA has started creating awareness and sensitisation about the scheme, via various marketing campaigns, including a music talent hunt in which members of the public were asked to showcase their creative skills by composing a theme song for the ILERA EKO campaign.

Sola Soetan emerged the winner and was made the pioneer Ilera Eko ambassador, after a panel of judges were selected to scrutinise 63 entries for the best creative, melodious, well-arranged and original entry.

Zamba said there is a robust marketing strategy already in effect which focuses on the various segments of the target audience – taking into consideration buying behaviours, preferences and motivation.

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