Win for low-income earners as Ruto announces new NHIF rules

NHIF contributions will be based on income

President William Ruto has announced that contributions to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) will now be restructured to reflect the income of Individual contributors.

“Contributions to NHIF will now be graduated and will depend on people’s income,” the new head of state announced.

This comes after the President while on the campaign trail in Kirinyaga County three months ago pledged to lower minimum NHIF contributions from Sh500 to Sh300 and offer waivers to poor households.

He then explained that the waivers will apply to those unable to pay the monthly rates so as ensure the country realizes universal healthcare service.

In January this year, the NHIF Amendment Bill was assented to and came into effect in the same month.

The Amendment Act amends the NHIF Act by providing for persons above the age of 18 years who are not yet registered under NHIF are required to register and make contributions to NHIF, a statutory insurance fund that provides Kenyans access to medical services.

As per the Act, every employer has a duty to make contributions on behalf of their employees.

It states that it is the employer’s responsibility to make employee’s contributions by matching the employee’s contribution through an amount equal to that which the employee is liable to pay without deducting the same from the employee’s remuneration.

Gross salary

This means that the employer shall be required to deduct the necessary contributions depending on the employees’ gross salary according to the rates gazetted by NHIF and give an additional contribution equal to that deducted from the employee though it directs that an employer who provides his employees with a private health insurance cover as well as better health benefits than those under NHIF is exempt from paying the matching contribution.

This is to mean that the employer can do so by applying for an exemption to the NHIF Board by attaching a certificate from the Insurance Regulation Authority so as to be exempt from paying the matching contribution.

The act further states that the certificate should indicate the benefits under the cover and the validity of the cover.