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Do you know the difference between NHIF and Social Health Insurance Fund?.Check it out today!.

The Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF), one of President William Ruto’s flagship projects, is seeking to provide affordable healthcare to all Kenyans.SHIF replaces the 57-year-old National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).


NHIF underwent numerous reforms to enhance its effectiveness and to accommodate the changing healthcare needs of Kenyans.


In 2021, the agency introduced new contribution rates, ranging from a minimum of Sh150 to a maximum of Sh1,700 for employees


SHIF seeks to ensure equity and access to health services by the poor and those in the informal sector, who were left out for the years NHIF has been in existence.


The rollout of the SHIF was stopped by the High Court last November following a petition by businessman Joseph Enock Aura, challenging sections of the scheme.


The Kenyan Court of Appeal has since given the go-ahead. A three-judge bench lifted the ban on January 19, 2023, saying the suspension posed a “real and present danger to the health rights of countless citizens who are not parties to the litigation”.


The 2.75% contribution
All workers are expected to contribute 2.75 per cent of their salaries towards the new health fund.

Under NHIF, Kenyans were deducted between Sh150 to Sh1,700 for salaried workers and Sh500 for self-employed.


Kenyans earning Sh20,000 were deducted Sh750, while those getting Sh50,000 paid 1,200.Those earning Sh100,000 and above were deducted Sh1,700 and the maximum cap of Sh1,700 for those earning Sh100,000 or more will be eliminated.


Under SHIF those earning Sh20,000 will be deducted Sh550 with Kenyans getting Sh50,000 paying Sh1,375.Kenyans earning Sh100,000 will be deducted Sh2,750 and those getting Sh200,000 will pay Sh5,500.


Those earning Sh500,000 will pay Sh13,750 while Kenyans getting Sh1 million and above will pay Sh27,500.


The unemployed
Contributors not employed or categorised as vulnerable individuals will pay a monthly contribution of Sh1,000, as opposed to the Sh500 initially proposed in the draft regulations of 2022.


The national and county governments will pay contributions to needy Kenyans.The national government will contribute Sh13,300 on behalf of individuals listed as vulnerable by the State Department of Social Protection.


The mandatory
Contribution to the fund will be mandatory for all adults seeking government services.The laws also make it compulsory for all foreigners visiting the country for more than 12 months to enlist and contribute to the social health insurance scheme.

Visitors coming into the country for less than a year will need to buy travel health insurance, which must be recognised under Kenyan insurance laws and regulations.


The government is also required to build at least one health facility for every 5,000 of its citizens under the ambitious UHC programme and the Primary Health Care Act, 2023 provides for the construction of community health units across the country to facilitate delivery and access to primary health care services at the grassroots.


Article By Suzy Nyongesa.


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