NHF members saved J$3.6bn on medication last year

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – Chief executive officer of the National Health Fund (NHF) Everton Anderson disclosed yesterday that NHF beneficiaries received more than J$3.6 billion in subsidies last year.
Speaking at a function at the New Kingston Conference Centre to announce the addition of sickle cell disease to the NHF Individual Benefits Programme, Anderson said some 217,037 members used their NHF cards to fill 3.7 million prescription items last year.
The CEO said too that since the start of 2015, on average, 113,600 people use their cards to buy medication each month. This, he said, has amounted to an estimated J$660 million per month in savings.
"They know the value of the NHF card, which not only helps them to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure, but is essential in helping them manage and control chronic illnesses," he noted.
While acknowledging that the NHF has played a significant role in chronic disease management and health care delivery in general, he admitted that there is a need for even more support.
"On an ongoing basis NHF receives requests for additions of new benefits," Anderson shared. "We recognise that we will not be able to meet all the demands at this time, but we are intensifying our work in the area of health financing with a view to providing an improved basket of health benefits in the future."
The NHF card provides subsidies to beneficiaries of all ages to treat 16 chronic illnesses.
According to the NHF website, every person living in Jamaica, diagnosed with any of the 16 chronic illnesses covered is eligible for coverage.
"There is no age limit, young and old, as well as rich and poor can benefit from NHF," the website states.
NHF cardholders can purchase medication from some 408 participating pharmacies islandwide.
Anika Richards

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