No Double Dipping: Kenyans Keep Their NHIF Contributions for New Health Fund
Kenyans who have diligently paid into the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) can breathe a sigh of relief. They won’t have to start over financially when transitioning to the new Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF).
This assurance comes directly from Health Cabinet Secretary (CS), Susan Nakhumicha, dispelling rumors and anxieties surrounding the switch.
Ms Nakhumicha emphasized that a dedicated committee is crafting a seamless transition plan, ensuring existing NHIF contributions are smoothly transferred to the SHIF system.
“No member should be asked to pay afresh,” she declared, addressing concerns that annual payments wouldn’t be recognized. The committee will ensure these are seamlessly credited without additional burden on individuals.
This announcement is particularly valuable considering some Kenyans had stopped contributing to NHIF, fearing their money would be lost.
The CS clarified that only new members or those who haven’t previously contributed will initiate payments under the SHIF.
“The Social Health Act of 2023 mandates existing NHIF members to register with the SHIF, becoming members of the Social Health Insurance Fund. Their beneficiary status remains active until their passing. The act also outlines a 2% penalty for self-employed individuals who miss contributions, calculated based on their contribution amount.
This penalty structure is significantly milder than the 10% charged by NHIF, offering some financial relief.
This news marks a positive step towards a more integrated and accessible healthcare system in Kenya. With existing contributions acknowledged and a transparent transition plan in place, Kenyans can now approach the SHIF with greater confidence, knowing their past contributions will pave the way for their future health security.