NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 7 – Kenyans have until Friday to select their preferred health facility to access outpatient services through the National Hospital Insurance Fund.
NHIF Public Relations Officer Florence Chebet says the list of facilities is available on the NHIF website, in all their offices and at all Huduma Centres.
Once you have filled in the form, drop it at the nearest Huduma Centre or NHIF office attached with a copy of your National Identity Card.
NHIF says the exercise will enable some of its 5.8 million members who have in the past faced challenges accessing services to develop a pool of hospitals and health facilities close to them for ease of service delivery.
In case of emergency or hospitalisation, a member can seek services from any NHIF accredited facility as registration only applies to outpatient services.
The registration will not be extended but a similar exercise is slated to take place after three months.
The public health insurance in April 2015 drew criticism from trade unions and employers after it announced an increment in rates in order to offer a better package to its beneficiaries. Among the benefits in the enhanced NHIF cover is general consultations with doctors, laboratory tests, drugs, X-ray and ultrasound diagnosis among others.
The criticism gained momentum following the announcement that principal contributors will only be allowed access to medication of between Sh1,000 and Sh1,400 outpatient cover per year under the new regulations.
Unions led by The Trade Union Congress of Kenya termed the rates as being too modest and insignificant compared to the amount deducted from contributors.
TUC-K National Chairman Tom Odege described the new scheme as a rip off wondering why a contributor can only access Sh1,400.
The Federation of Kenya Employers opposed the rates and instead called on employers to peg the new NHIF on basic rather than gross pay.
Previously, monthly contribution to NHIF stood at Sh320 for all employees earning above Sh15,000 and a Sh160 voluntary contribution for everyone else earning above Sh1,000.
Unlike in the previous structure of payment that was uniform, the new rates, which took effect from April last year this are now based on individuals salary scale.
Workers earning Sh5,999 are now paying Sh150, which is the lowest deduction and those earning above Sh100,000 pay Sh1,700.