President William Ruto’s government has made the first move towards scrapping the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and replacing it with three different funds.
This was agreed upon by the cabinet in a meeting that was held on Tuesday, August 29 and chaired by President Ruto.
Under the new models, the government will establish the Primary Healthcare Fund, Social Health Insurance Fund and Emergency, Chronic and Critical Illness Fund.
According to a release by the cabinet, the new funds will help Kenya attain Universal Health Coverage faster.
At the same time, the cabinet approved four health Bills including the Primary Health Care Bill, of 2023, the Digital Health Bill, of 2023, the Facility Improvement Financing Bill, of 2023 and the Social Health Insurance Bill, of 2023.
“These Bills will usher in a paradigm in the legal and institutional framework for healthcare in Kenya by repealing the current NationalHealth Insurance Fund and establishing in its place the three new funding,” the release from the cabinet stated.
This is not the first time that plans are being proposed for the scrapping, review, and remodeling of the NHIF.
In 2020, the Council of Governors (CoG) proposed that the NHIF be split into three instituions. The three were to handle independent roles of claims payment, accreditation of health facilities and the social insurance health fund.
“The NHIF reforms should thus aim at transforming the institution to set up strong legal and regulatory framework … that will deliver Universal Healthcare,” said the then CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya who is now the former Governor of Kakamega.