The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has set itself an ambitious target of recruiting 12 million Kenyans in the informal sector as it moves to roll out the second phase of its mass recruitment drive.
The figure is nearly four times the 3.5 million people it registered from the formal sector in the first phase of the campaign that also brought in 2.5 million salaried workers.
The drive is hinged on recent roll out of an ‘affordable’ care package which allows informal sector workers to contribute Sh500 monthly or Sh6,000 per year.
“We will start the campaign in October and run it until December because every Kenyan should have a health insurance package,” said NHIF chief executive, Geoffrey Mwangi.
“We have been going round doing a lot of campaign and the message has sunk but we still need to keep informing people so that those who are still out there can come on board,”
Health Cabinet Secretary, Cleopa Mailu said the drive will push Kenya towards universal health coverage and protect citizens from out-of-pocket expenses incurred by most citizens.
The NHIF had earlier increased inpatient and outpatient benefits enabling members to access dialysis, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and theatre services.
Members in the formal sector contribute on a graduated scale rate that is calculated at 2.5 per cent of one’s income but capped at Sh1,700.
This translates to a minimum of Sh150 per month for those who earn less than Sh6,000 per month to a maximum of Sh1,700 per month for those whose monthly take-home is above Sh100,000.
“Going forward it should be an employer-employee contribution so that we are not limited from offering some benefits to our members. It has however been a progressive journey and we can say that we are better off now than where we were a couple of years back,” said Mr Mwangi.
Some services are, however, not covered under the increased benefits in some facilities. Currently, NHIF maternity care packages reimburses Sh10,000 for a normal delivery and Sh30,000 for any delivery via Caesarean Section in only 2,000 contracted health facilities.
“We understand that some services such as CT scans, MRI, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and kidney dialysis are not available in all facilities.
Members can however get them in high end hospitals such as Nairobi, Aga Khan University, Mater and MP Shah but within limit,” said Mwangi.
Credit: Business Daily