NAIROBI, Kenya, April 20 – The new National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) contributory rates take effect in May, in a move that will see provision of outpatient cover for all contributors.
This is after the High Court last month ruled in favour of the national health insurer in a case where the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) had challenged implementation of the new gazetted rates.
“Inpatient and outpatient cover will include consultation, investigation, medication as well as all pre-existing conditions including chronic illnesses,” read a newspaper advert by the national health insurer.
All employers, contributors and organised groups have been advised to remit the enhanced rates from May 1.
However, those employers who have already made deductions for April with the old rates are within the guidelines but any payroll deductions from May 1 should apply the new rates.
NHIF further said the list of contracted health providers would be available from mid May for members to select a facility of their choice.
However, COTU and the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union have raised questions over the capacity of NHIF to handle such a large scheme as it moves away from just offering inpatient cover to offer outpatient cover as well.
NHIF started offering outpatient cover in January with the introduction of the teachers and Civil Servants scheme.
The new rates will see the highest contributor remit Sh2,000 for those earning over Sh100,000 while those earning less than Sh1,500 will contribute Sh150 monthly.