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NHI Bahamas  »  Understanding NHI Bahamas

Understanding NHI Bahamas

The Need

To build a more modern and prosperous Bahamas, we must improve our health care system.

The Bahamas needs National Health Insurance to improve access and affordability of quality health care for our people. Currently, approximately 70% of Bahamians do not have health insurance, meaning they may have to pay for health services out of their own pockets. With the average Bahamian household paying approximately $2,300 per year out of pocket for health care, this is something many people simply cannot afford.

Not being able to afford health care can result in illness and even death, and severe illness can be prevented often with a simple visit to the doctor. We must improve access and affordability of quality health care for our people to ensure health care for all.

Modernizing our current health care system is essential to improving the health of our population.



NHI Bahamas is rooted in three overarching values that are at the heart of all planning and policy-making decisions regarding health care for Bahamians.

NHI Bahamas is Modern, NHI Bahamas is Affordable, NHI Bahamas is Accessible.


We are improving and modernizing the delivery of health care services in The Bahamas. The NHI Bahamas system puts patients first, focusing on health outcomes.

Health System Strengthening is a core element of NHI Bahamas rollout, and improvements to health care will not stop. We have already made progress such as extended clinic hours and opening of more clinics.


Not only does NHI Bahamas provide affordable health care for legal residents of The Bahamas, the program is affordable for the Government itself.

Under Primary Care coverage, legal residents of The Bahamas do not have to pay out of pocket for access to primary health services (such as outpatient visits to your Primary Care doctor and labs). Bahamians no longer need to worry about the costs of these health care impacting their day to day lives.

The NHIA has developed a funding model for NHI Bahamas that is evidence-based. Funding allocation for NHI Bahamas through the Government of The Bahamas is proven to be more suitable than previous models and more sustainable overall.



Under NHI Bahamas, legal residents of The Bahamas have access to the same benefits, no matter what. All legal Bahamian residents, regardless of age, employment status, income, pre-existing illness or island of residence, are eligible to be covered under NHI Bahamas.

NHI Bahamas promotes choice. Bahamians can choose their preferred registered primary care provider, and eventually, their insurer. Furthermore, Bahamians can choose to receive care from private or public health care facilities. Those with existing health insurance can keep it as a “top up” to NHI Bahamas.


NHI Bahamas is being phased in over several years to ensure the government’s ability to pay for it sustainably.

The five phases of NHI Bahamas include :

  • Phase 1: Registration
  • Phase 2: Enrolment
  • Phase 3: Primary Health Care Coverage
  • Phase 4: Select Catastrophic Coverage
  • Phase 5: Full Benefits Coverage

Bahamians are currently receiving Primary Care services at no cost at point of service (visits to doctors and lab tests). Enrol today to get access to care.

At present, there is no new tax in place to cover the first three phases of NHI Bahamas. Phases 1 to 3 are currently being paid for through the Government’s consolidated fund (the central Government budget), while costing scenarios going forward both for current and subsequent phases are being developed and refined.