NHIF CEO Advocates For Mandatory NHIF Payments
Peter Kamunyo, the CEO of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), has informed a parliamentary committee to make it compulsory for every Kenyan, 18 years and above, to pay into the health fund.
However, the MPs stated that in order to make the donations necessary, a rule would be required, and before it was passed by Parliament, it would be open to public comment.
In the discussion between the NHIF board and the health committee, improving comprehensive medical care was the center of discussion.
NHIF CEO said that only 15% of the NHIF contributions are optional, therefore, making the fund mandatory to all citizens will help improve the medical care in the country.
“Most Kenyans contribute to the insurance fund when they are sick,” Kamunyo stated.
NHIF suffered a loss in the fiscal year 2021–2022, which was around Sh2.7 billion less than the Sh3.2 billion deficit suffered the year before.
According to Kamunyo, the losses were brought on by health facility fraud, in which some facilities conspired with NHIF personnel to make bogus claims.
Board chairperson Lewis Nguyai claimed that understaffing and a drop in budgetary funding from Sh50 million to Sh30 million had an impact on their operations.
According to Nguyai, the manual claims method that was previously in use resulted in money leakages of up to 20%.
According to Robert Pukose, chair of the National Assembly's parliamentary committee on health delivering Universal Health Care (UHC) will be a top goal.
“The fund has played a major role in delivering UHC and some counties have recorded success stories from disbursements made by the fund to the hospitals,” said Dr Pukose.
The board also suggested strengthening public health facilities to reduce the burden on claims from private hospitals, where the bulk of individuals covered by the NHIF seek treatment.