What is NHIS and how to register for it in Nigeria: hospital list, status checking, coverage

What is NHIS and how to register for it in Nigeria: hospital list, status checking, coverage

High medical costs are among the biggest challenges faced by Nigerian citizens. Health insurance is recommended because it protects citizens from unprecedented hospital bills. The Government of Nigeria established the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to help with medical bills. Citizens are encouraged to register for NHIS.

What is NHIS
The National Health Insurance Scheme logo. Photo: @NHIS (modified by author)
Source: UGC

It is important for all Nigerian citizens to learn how to register for NHIS. This health scheme comes in handy, especially among low-income households. The country has achieved better health service distribution through the scheme.

How to register for NHIS in Nigeria

The COVID-19 pandemic made people realise that medical expenses are unpredictable and can cause financial upheaval in a household.

Meaning of NHIS

The full meaning of NHIS is the National Health Insurance Scheme. The Federal Government of Nigeria established NHIS under Act 35 of 1999 of the country's constitution.


The primary functions of NHIS are to complement sources of financing for the health sector and to improve access to health care for Nigerians. The NHIS registration process depends on the programme one is eligible for, as explored below.

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  • Formal sector: This includes the Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Programme, Mobile Health, and Group/ Individual/ Family Social Health Insurance Programme. It caters to people who are in the public sector (federal, state, or local governments, organised private sector, and the police, armed forces, and other uniformed services.
  • Informal sector: It includes Tertiary Institution Social Health Insurance Programmes, Community Based Social Health Insurance Programmes, and Voluntary Contributors Social Health Insurance Programmes.
  • Vulnerable groups: This category caters to physically challenged persons, prison inmates, children under five, pregnant women, refugees, and immigrants.
  • GFSHIP: This means Group Individual and Family Social health insurance programme. Individuals, families, or groups can register.

Registration for people in the formal sector

Employers are responsible for registering their employees in the Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Programme. If you are recently employed in this sector, do not fret because you do not need to do much about it.

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Each month, part of every employee's salary is deducted as their contribution. The employee and their family can enjoy the benefits of health insurance as stipulated in the NHIS policy document.

If you wish to manage your account and see your dependents' information, follow the steps below.

  • Visit the NHIS registration portal on an internet-enabled device.
  • Click Register.
  • Enter your NHIS number, surname, and date of birth to register an online account.
  • Once you register, you will view the information you need.
What is NHIS and how to register for it in Nigeria
Empty beds in a hospital. Photo: pexels.com, @Pixabay
Source: UGC

Registration for the informal sector, vulnerable groups, & GFSHIP

If you wish to make voluntary contributions, you can either do it online or via a USSD code.

How to register on the NHIS portal (online registration)

Follow the steps below to complete the registration process via the NHIS registration portal.

  • Open your browser on an internet-enabled device and visit the official NHIS website.
  • Click Online Registration on the homepage.
  • Fill in the required information, then click Submit to create an account. Ensure you note down the NHIS login details, as you will need them to access your account.
  • Next, find your preferred Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and buy a voucher. You can check out the NHIS HMO list online to identify the closest one.
  • Visit the NHIS website again and click the Voluntary Contributors tab.
  • Scroll down the page and click Register.
  • Enter accurate details in all the fields provided.
  • An NHIS hospital list will appear on your screen. Choose the most convenient healthcare facility for you. If the list fails to appear on your screen, enter a different state or Local Government Area in the details section.
  • Next, choose a payment method. Always make the contributions as required to access NHIS services at your chosen health facility.

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How to register for NHIS via USSD code

If you do not have access to the internet, you can register for the medical scheme as a voluntary contributor using the steps below.

  • Dial *616# on your phone.
  • Follow the prompts and fill out all the required information.
  • If the application is successful, you will receive a text message containing your e-ID
What is NHIS and how to register for it in Nigeria
A medical laboratory technician in gloves writing a report on a sheet of paper. Photo: pexels.com, @Pixabay
Source: UGC

NHIS registration fee in Nigeria

Creating an NHIS account is free. However, all registered members must remit their monthly contributions to access services at their preferred healthcare facilities.

Monthly contributions for people in the formal sector are charged at a specified monthly percentage of their salary. The amount is automatically deducted from their pay slip every month.

Monthly contributions by people in the informal sector, vulnerable groups, & GFSHIP are dependent on the programme an individual, family, or group chooses.

Benefits of NHIS

Registered NHIS members have the benefits listed below.

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  • Free outpatient care services.
  • Access to prescribed medications, pharmaceutical care, and diagnostic tests as stipulated in the terms and conditions.
  • Maternity services for up to four live births for every insured contributor or couple in the formal sector.
  • Access to preventive care services, including immunisation, family planning, antenatal care, health education, and post-natal care.
  • Access to hospital care in standard wards for a cumulative of 15 days per year in non-military hospitals and no limit in military facilities.
  • Access to counselling services.


If you wish to contact NHIS for more information, use the details below.

  • Phone numbers: +123 0805-928-2008/ +234 0808-328-0131/ 0803-979-6126/ 0806-574-4100/ 0805-901-5854
  • Email address: info@nhis.gov.ng
  • Headquarters physical address: Plot 297, P.O.W. Mafemi Crescent, Off Solomon Lar Way, Utako District, Abuja

NB: In the past, NHIS money was squandered by unscrupulous officials. The latest NHIS-EFCC update indicated that the EFCC recovered an additional ₦900 million for the NHIS. This was in addition to the ₦1.4 billion released to the scheme on 5th August 2022.

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What is NHIS and how to register for it in Nigeria
A well-equipped operating room. Photo: pexels.com, @Pixabay
Source: UGC

Who is eligible to apply for NHIS?

Every Nigerian is eligible for the National Hospital Insurance Scheme. Everyone is mandated by law to get health insurance.

What does NHIS cover in Nigeria?

NHIS covers outpatient, in-patient, counselling, medications, antenatal and prenatal, and eye checkups for registered members, as stipulated in the NHIS policy.

How do I register my NHIS on my phone?

You can register by dialling *616# on your phone. Follow the prompts to complete the process.

What is the cost of NHIS in Nigeria?

It does not cost you anything to create an NHIS account. However, all members are required to remit monthly contributions, depending on the selected programme.

How do I find my NHIS number?

You can find your number by logging into your NHIS account on an internet-enabled device. Alternatively, you can dial *929# on any network.

Can I register for NHIS online?

Yes, you can register for the healthcare scheme through the NHIS registration portal. If you have wondered how to check your NHIS status, simply log into your account via the portal to confirm your details.

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Is there an NHIS office in Lagos?

Yes, there is an NHIS Lagos Zonal Office located at 443 Herbert Macaulay Way.

Nigerian citizens and residents are encouraged to register with the NHIS and remit their monthly contributions. The scheme covers various healthcare services and promotes access to healthcare services in case of sickness.

What is NHIS and how to register for it in Nigeria
Photo: canva.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

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