After Nigeria opened up for international commute, two terms have been swirling around: COVID-19 test and COVID-19 health insurance. They may sound interchangeable for anyone travelling out of Nigeria, but they are not. Let’s tell you the difference.
We all know that travellers now need to have a COVID test either on arrival or departure. It is a requirement needed for travelling to and from Nigeria and other countries around the world. This PCR test is mandatory and you have to pay for it in Nigeria. It is usually not included in most tour travel packages. The reason you have to pay for the COVID test is that it is conducted by private laboratories.
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These laboratories charge between NGN 42,750 to NGN 50,400 on the government-owned NCDC travel portal. As soon as you make payment online, you are supposed to receive a QR code which you are to present at the airlines before being allowed to continue your travel arrangement. If you are debited and you do not get this code, visit the safe portal website to retrieve your QR code access report instantly.
You can do your registration and payment at the airport or on your own before getting to the airport. The pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test must be within 120 hours before departure (mandatory) and preferably within 72 hours pre-boarding (advisory). Tests done more than 120 hours before departure are not valid and persons will not be allowed to board. Please note that tests other than PCR tests for COVID-19 (such as rapid diagnostic IgG/IgM or antigen tests) are not acceptable.
COVID-19 Health Insurance
Health insurance is money paid in advance to a health insurance company, or via a travel agency, as a preventive measure against infection when you travel out. It does not cover you if you already got infected before travelling and start manifesting serious symptoms when you arrive at your destination.
Therefore, COVID-19 health insurance covers you only if you get infected with COVID-19, so you can have access to funds to help out with medical bills overseas.
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One way to utilise your health insurance is to make sure you keep the receipt for any treatment you receive and a copy of your medical report. These documents act as proof and are usually required for your claim. When you present both to the insurance company, they are bound to give you adequate compensation as agreed for the COVID health insurance package.
Now you know the difference, we hope you also know that you need to have both when travelling during this pandemic season.
Diamonds and Pearls
Ministry of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria National Health Insurance Scheme Handbook
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