State mulls lowering NHIF charges to widen health coverage

NHIF Building

The NHIF building in Nairobi. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The government is looking to review contributions made to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) in a bid to ensure that most Kenyans have access to medical treatment.

According to Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha, the new health insurance charges will be announced soon.

"The charges could be as low as Sh160 per month. It is important that the amount contributed to NHIF be reduced so that Kenyans who are financially weak can benefit," she told hundreds of residents today at Runyejes Stadium in Embu as she launched the National Cancer Awareness Month.

She was responding to a request by Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire that NHIF contributions be lowered from the current Sh500 to less than Sh300. The governor said majority of Kenyans could not afford to pay the current charges and called on the CS to intervene.

In response, the CS said the issue was being considered seriously.

"During campaigns, President William Ruto said NHIF charges will be cut for the benefit of Kenyans. We are working to ensure the pledge is fulfilled."

During campaigns, Dr Ruto had promised to lower minimum NHIF contributions from Sh500 to Sh300. He said the waivers would apply to those unable to pay monthly rates to ensure the country has truly universal healthcare services.


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