NHIF (Amendment) Bill 2021
Workers in the informal sector might soon be paying lower Monthly contributions to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) if parliament passes the NHIF (Amendment) Bill 2021.
NHIF contributors in the informal sector will pay Sh300 down from the current Sh 500 if the proposed amendments are approved.
The proposed bill seeks to increase the revenues raised by NHIF in three ways:
- Make NHIF mandatory for all
- Compel employers to match their employees’ NHIF contributions
- for co-insured patients, providers will be required to bill the private insurer first before NHIF pays
The proposed changes are part of wider proposals to the NHIF Bill, that seek to have all Kenyans registered under NHIF as part of the new Universal Health Coverage (UHC) program. Currently, only workers in the formal sector are compelled to join the national healthcare scheme but if parliament approves the proposed law, every adult in Kenya will now be required to contribute monthly to NHIF.
“The Bill proposes to insert a new Section 15A to make it mandatory for any person who has attained the age of 18 years and is not a beneficiary to register as a member of the Fund,” states the memorandum of the Bill.
The Universal Health Coverage (UHC) aims to make healthcare accessible and affordable to individuals and communities. It includes the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care across the life course.
Achieving UHC is one of the targets the nations of the world set when adopting the SDGs in 2015
Employees in the Formal sector employees currently make mandatory NHIF contributions on a graduated scale and one of the proposals in the NHIF (Amendment) Bill 2021 currently seeks to make it compulsory for employers to match the Sh1,700 monthly remittances that top contributors make to the NHIF.
NHIF had 8.898 million members at the end of June last year, with 4.452 million drawn from the formal sector and 4.546 million from the informal sector segment according to official data.