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Background: Health insurance (HI) is a social security system that serves as a financial risk protection for families and small businesses, and also increases access to priority health services. This study determined awareness and willingness to participate in Community Based Health Insurance (CHBI) Scheme by Artisans in Abakaliki, Southeast Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional survey of 380 artisans in Abakaliki was carried out. Respondents were selected using a stratified systematic random sampling method to cover all the specialties. Research instrument was semi structured interviewer administered pre tested questionnaire. Data was analysed using the SPSS software. Chi‑squared test was used for association at significance level of 5%.
Results: Mean age of the artisans was 31.3 ± 10.3 years and mean income was N15277. Generally, only 28.7% of respondents were aware of health insurance, out of which 3.9% were aware of CBHI. Only 5.8% of the artisans had been on any form of Health Insurance, of which 95.5% were on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Merely 2.9% of the artisans were currently enrolled in CBHI. Most of the respondents (78.9%) were willing to participate (WTP) in CBHI with their preferred organizer being government (77.5%). Majority of respondents were willing to pay premiums ranging from N400 (91.7%) to N1500 (64.6%) for health services that include surgery and hospitalization. There was statistically significant association between WTP in health insurance and educational status (p = 0.002).
Conclusion: The artisans had very low awareness of health insurance but majority indicated willingness to participate and pay in a Government-backed well organised Scheme. Aggressive stakeholders’ enlightenment campaign is therefore imperative to increase their awareness.