Importance of the NHIF Policy
The National Hospital Insurance Fund is a government run medical insurance service, developed with the eventual goal of offering universal healthcare for all Kenyans. All employed persons in Kenya are required to be members of the fund. The fund is the main source of medical insurance for civil servants. It is quite important to be a paid up member of NHIF because of the benefits this membership affords you as a person. Here are some of the benefits.
Health insurance is issued net of NHIF costs
When you buy a commercial medical insurance policy from a local healthcare provider such as Jubilee insurance, Britam, resolution insurance or any other medical insurance companies in Kenya, your insurance is calculated net of the NHIF contribution to your hospitalization. Since membership in NHIF is mandatory for employed persons, health insurance companies assume that everyone who buys additional insurance from them is actually buying ADDITIONAL insurance. The policy benefits are therefore calculated net of the amount NHIF should pay. If you do not keep your NHIF contributions current, you will have to foot an amount equivalent to what NHIF should pay.
Subsidizes cost of hospitalization
The second reason why everyone should consider NHIF membership is that is subsidizes cost of treatment. In recent times, NHIF has been expanding its scope of coverage. Until recently, NHIF has been refunding providers only when a member is hospitalized. However in recent times, the fund has been working towards refunding even costs associated with outpatient services. recent media report indicate that NHIF will start paying for costs associated to the treatment of cancer, and the cost of dialysis.
Is relatively cheap to pay
Finally, the cost of NHIF members is relatively cheap, yet the benefits are competitive especially in the case of hospitalization. One of the key advantages of the NHIF is that one pays the medical insurance costs monthly as opposed to annually, making it very affordable. It is also the case that the rates are affordable even for low wage workers. NHIF members who are employed contribute from Kshs 150 for those earning a maximum of Kshs 5,999, and a maximum of Kshs 1700 for those earning Kshs 100,000 and above. For those not employed formally (such as informal workers and retired persons), the monthly contribution is pegged at Kshs 500 per month. These costs are lower than for any other cover. For instance, Linda Jamii requires members to pay 12,000 per annum, meaning that the monthly charge is Ksh 1000.
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Having an active membership with the NHIF is a smart decision for every discerning Kenyan.