President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday suspended the new NHIF regulations that attracted czar criticism from Kenyans owing to its stringent nature.
Speaking in Mombasa during the state of the nation address, President Uhuru directed the Health Cabinet Secretary to put on hold the new regulations.
“In regard to Kenya’s health insurance, I am aware of the proposed fees and structure of insurance benefits to NHIF. and Given my ministry’s commitment to the provision of Universal Health Coverage, I direct the ministry of health to put on hold to allow for further consultations,” said the President.
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) January 14, 2020
In the new NHIF recommendations, the health insurer had given the following radical regulations:
• The waiting period to increase to three months in which time one is expected to have paid Sh6,000 upfront for the 12 months.
• 50 per cent penalty for each month defaulted/paid late, up to 11 months.
• If defaulted, you pay a one-year advance and wait 30 days before getting any benefit
• Any default more than 12 months, refer to No.1. You are treated like a new entrant into the scheme.
• Maternity access – restricted to six months after card matures.
• Maternity and specialised services – six-month waiting period for dependents declared after initial registration. Newborns have to be declared within six months.
• 30 days waiting period for any additional dependants, or in case of a change of spouse for inpatient and outpatient services.
• Six-month waiting period for specialised services. In the case of defaulted payments, refer to point one and two.• Maximum dependents – one spouse and five children – for the National Scheme.
• Health Insurance subsidy, Linda Mama, Elderly persons with severe disability and Inua Jamii programme exempt from those changes.
Kenyans had expressed their reservations on the new directive terming it expensive and unaffordable to the common mwananchi.