It will now be compulsory for each household to make a contribution of Ksh. 500 to the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) in new reforms as the government rolls out a health cover for all kenyans.
In a bill by majority leader Amos Kimunya, employers will be required to make an equal contribution to the fund for their employees as the government moves towards attaining universal health coverage.
MPs have approved heavy penalties for employers who fail to remit to the fund or deduct the same from their employees salaries.
As President Uhuru Kenyatta’s term draws to a close, MPs raced against time on Tuesday to streamline the much hyped universal health care.
Through the NHIF amendment bill 2021, the lawmakers in tailored amendments made it mandatory for all adults to be contributors to the national health insurance fund.
“The bill reads in part, contributions will be by all Kenyans from 18 years and above in both formal and informal sectors,”
“Employers are required to contribute an amount equal to that which they have remitted on behalf of their employees,”
The bill pegs a compulsory contribution of Ksh. 6,000 for the self-employed with no option of voluntary contributions to the fund.
The bill proposes to have employers whose employees are liable as contributors to the fund to also be contributors to the fund.
Employers shall make a matching contribution equal to that made by their employee according to the new changes.
The reforms seek to safeguard employees from having to pay double subscriptions. An employer is expected to make a matching contribution to that of their employee and is not allowed to deduct the same from the employee’s salary or benefits.
The bill proposes to introduce empanelled healthcare providers with the criteria for the empanelment and contracting of healthcare providers set by the health cabinet secretary and the national hospital insurance fund management board.
The proposed changes have been challenged by various stakeholders with the employers umbrella body FKE as well as the Central Organisation of Trade Union saying the proposed piece of legislation did not factor in the unemployment statistics in the country with majority of those aged above 18 years still jobless.
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