If the current effort to review NHIF rates is successful, Kenyans with annual incomes of more than Ksh100,000 may soon be required to pay higher premiums into the fund.
The Ministry of Health, under the leadership of outgoing CS Mutahi Kagwe, announced the tariff increases in a Gazette Notice published on Friday, October 21.
Contributions for those making above Ksh100,000 would increase from a fixed rate of Ksh1,700 to 1.7% of income as part of the upcoming changes.
Contributions will rise proportionally with wage, from Ksh3,400 per month for those making Ksh200,000 to Ksh8,500 per month for those making Ksh500,000.
Individuals with annual incomes of Ksh90,000 to Ksh99,000 would pay a flat rate of Ksh1,600, while those with annual incomes of Ksh80,000 to Ksh90,000 will pay a flat rate of Ksh1,500.
“The Ministry of Health in consultation with the National Health Insurance Fund has developed 5 sets of proposed National Health Insurance Fund Regulations, 2022, to facilitate effective implementation of the provisions of the National Health Insurance Fund Act, 2022 Laws of Kenya. The proposed Regulations have been subjected to public participation and comments therefrom incorporated,” read the notice in part.
The proposed regulations include NHIF Beneficiary Identification Regulations 2022, NHIF Member Registration Regulations 2022, NHIF Contributions Regulations 2022, NHIF Empanelment and Contracting Regulations 2022 as well as NHIF Benefits and Claims Regulations 2022.
The proposed changes to the Contributions Regulations section additionally stipulate that companies must transfer the monthly standard payment by the 9th of each month.
President William Ruto has thrown his support behind the revisions, adding that he has backing from Parliament in his efforts to improve the country’s savings culture and health sector.
“Our health agenda is premised on fundamental reforms in the way healthcare is financed and provided. Contributions to the National Health Insurance Fund will now be graduated and will depend on people’s income,” stated the DP.
If passed, it will give NHIF a boost in funding that will allow them to increase yearly contributions to far above Ksh20 billion.
The Federation of Kenya Employers – FKE strongly opposed the idea when it was first proposed in January 2022. They said that the review would increase the wage bill, which would have a negative impact on their ability to create new jobs.
To further encourage voluntary contributions, the proposed changes will allow individuals to contribute a minimum of Ksh500 each month.