NHIF in full is the National Hospital Insurance Fund whose mission is to contribute towards universal health coverage by provision of affordable, accessible, sustainable and quality health insurance through strategic resource pooling and healthcare purchasing in collaboration with stakeholders.
NHIF is an insurance cover by the government that allows all cadres of people to contribute to the scheme from both the informal and formal sectors. It is a mandatory requirement for those in formal employment to be members, but it is voluntary for those in informal quarters and retirees. You can register either as an employer or a company by filling in the employers’ form or as an individual. To be enrolled as a member, you have to be living and working in Kenya either as a Kenyan citizen or a foreign resident.
What are the requirements for applying to NHIF in Kenya?
To apply as a Kenyan you need: coloured passport photo(s) including those of the spouse where applicable, copies of national IDs of the principal and spouse if married, a copy of employer’s letter of introduction for those in formal employment and original copies of dependent’s birth certificate(s) for those with children. If a foreign resident you will need; coloured passport photo(s) including that of the spouse where applicable and copies of their passports and work permit(s) and that of their spouse if both of you are alien residents. After filling the forms, you can drop them to the nearest NHIF branch. In addition, employers need a certificate of registration CR12 and the companies PIN certificate.
You can also access the service through a Safaricom USSD *155# that is toll free and enables you register as an NHIF member which also enables you access NHIF selfcare to access all services without necessarily visiting the offices. Health cover cushions the principal and dependents in times of illness. Once they are admitted to an NHIF accredited health institution, they receive treatment and NHIF foots the bill.
Services offered by NHIF in Kenya
‘Supa cover’ is a service by NHIF that allows you to select an outpatient facility which is changeable quarterly. There are preselected services provided that include but not limited to; consultation, minor surgeries, optical care, radiological examinations, drug administration and issue, examination and all forms of testing and any other services approved by NHIF’s board of management. On the other hand, in-patient services are for dire cases that require admission and NHIF takes care of nursing care charges, bed fees, surgeries and all that go into it, drugs, testing among others. However, in premium facilities such as Agha khan and MP shah, treatment and admission are on a co-payment arrangement. Also, maternity is covered comprehensively; both normal and caesarean births in almost all cadres of hospitals except for the high-end facilities with a co-payment option. Dialysis is another package that is catered for by NHIF and this will cushion patients in need on a weekly basis.
The expected deductions and how to pay when saving for NHIF
As a member from the informal sector benefiting from the voluntary cover you are required to remit Kshs 500 per month or Kshs 6000 per annum. Those in formal employment remittance is made in accordance to the salary they draw on a graduated scale capping the maximum to Kshs 1700 per employee per month for those drawing salaries up to Kshs 100,000. To benefit, one can make a lumpsum payment especially for those in informal sector or have a standing order in their respective banks that debits to NHIF accounts.
How to pay for NHIF using Safaricom Paybill
There is also another way to access NHIF by making payments through Safaricom as follows;
- In your handset, click M-PESA
- Select pay bill in options
- Enter business no. 200222
- Enter account no, contributors ID number
- Enter amount which is usually Ksh 500
- Enter your PIN number and confirm the details and if they are correct, press OK.
You can also check if you are compliant by using your mobile number and composing an SMS. Type the letter “ID” space and type your passport no or ID no and at a cost of Ksh 10 you’re able to confirm compliance.
Insurance is a very important personal finance decision. If you have enough money to spare, insuring your health is a definite yes.