Outrage as NHIF cuts dependants from 10 to five
The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has reviewed its terms reducing the number of beneficiary children to five from the current 10, while only one spouse will be eligible.
Additional dependants can be included subject to payment of additional premiums to be communicated after actuarial valuation.
In a Special Full Board Meeting held on December 17, 2019, the NHIF board resolved that as from January 2020, the waiting period for new members shall be increased to 90 days from 60 days and they should have paid Sh6,000 upfront for the 12 months before enjoying any benefits.
The board has also put in place punitive measures for those who default to pay their monthly contributions with a 50 percent penalty for each defaulted month “and a restriction of 30 days before being eligible for benefits.”
The penalty on defaulting beneficiaries was retained at 50 percent of the monthly contribution for each month paid late, up to 11 months, coupled with requirement to pay for one year in advance and a restriction of 30 days before being eligible for benefits.
“In case of default for 12 months and above, the affected member will start payment afresh and be eligible for benefits after 90 days from the date of resumption of payment in addition to a one year upfront payment, payable within the waiting period while observing due dates otherwise ( the 50% penalty) will also apply,” read the statement.
Also, Voluntary Members access to maternity benefit will be restricted to six months post card maturity for principal members or spouse declared at the point of registration.
“For both Maternity and Specialized Services, any dependent declared after initial registration shall be subjected to a 6-month waiting period after such declaration with exception of newborns who shall be considered eligible for benefit provided they are declared within 6 months from the date of birth,” adds the statement.
The Board exempted the Health Insurance subsidy, Linda Mama, Elderly persons with severe disability and Inua Jamii programme from the review.
The move did not augur well with netizens:
The new NHIF regulations are draconian and punitive and could be illegal. The management must recall those regulations and subject them to public participation and parliamentary scrutiny… pic.twitter.com/QsXGdeYZb6
— Dr. Oundo Mudenyo,PhD,MP (@OundoMudenyo) January 10, 2020
What all these means, in my opinion, @nhifkenya may deviate from being a social insurance and it will be no different from the commercial insurance. 50% of Kenyans live under 100/= a day, how will they meet these conditions?
— Dr. Mercy Korir (@DrMercyKorir) January 9, 2020
This is totally unfair to Kenyans. Leaders now just make decisions and force Kenyans to swallow! This should now no longer be compulsory to Kenyans as it now operates like an insurance firm.#NHIF @KTNNewsKE pic.twitter.com/g5VBYzJK1K
— Kennedy (@kengrafiqs) January 10, 2020
When I dropped this thread last week outlining about segregation in NHIF, some of us thought I was lost. Now see how informal set up has been hit hard
Health Financing must be embrace equality not equity https://t.co/5ADrAK00b6
— Dr. Wanjiru Njugi (@WanjiruNjugi) January 10, 2020
Article 43 (1)( a) of our constitution says access to healthcare is not only a fundamental human right, the same healthcare must be of the highest attainable standards.The move by NHF limiting service to spouses n kids n imposing punitive rules on Kenyans are unconstitutional.
— Edward Kisiang'ani (@ekisiangani) January 9, 2020
On a serious note, mama mboga is struggling to pay the monthly 500/= premium so how can she now afford to pay 6000/= annual premium. Are u bringing a social change or commercial change?
— Jimia Abdul (@jimiab) January 10, 2020