New NHIF Rule: Kenyans Not Registered for SHIF Won't Access Govt Services


Kenyans will be required to present proof of membership to the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) to get government services. Health CS Susan Nakhumicha speaking at a past meeting. Photo: CS Nakhumicha S. Source: Twitter President William Ruto's administration repealed the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to include three funds mandatory for everyone above 18 years of age. What are the new requirements for SHIF? The Social Health Insurance Act 2023, which is yet to come into force, provides for mandatory membership of all Kenyans and foreigners residing in the country.  Section 26 (5) of the Act directs the national and county governments to deny services to anyone not registered for SHIF. "A person who is registrable as a member under this Act shall produce proof of compliance with the provisions of this Act on registration and contribution as a precondition of dealing with or accessing public services from the national and county governments," the law stated in part, According to Nation, the government targeted 17 million Kenyans above 18 in the new health insurance. How much is the monthly contribution to SHIF? The Act was approved on October 19, 2023, and Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha awaits the gazettement. Employees in the formal sector, both public and private, will part with 2.75% of their salary as a contribution to the kitty.  Kenyans in informal employment will contribute up to KSh 500 per month towards the scheme. What Kenyans said about NHIF changes In August 2023, Ruto's Cabinet approved four healthcare bills that led to the repeal of NHIF, the introduction of SHIF, and other two schemes. The changes raised eyebrows among Kenyans, who debated on possible implications of the move by the Kenya Kwanza administration. They wondered what the repealing of NHIF, a parastatal that was established in 1966 as a department under the Ministry of Health, means to healthcare in the country and their contribution as beneficiaries of medical cover. They argued that the possible introduction of the three funds would mean more deductions for each service. 

BY  Wycliffe Musalia 

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