Government Shifts Date for Implementation of New Mandatory Health Insurance Deductions

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Government Shifts Date for Implementation of New Mandatory Health Insurance Deductions

Kenyans will begin paying to the newly formed Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) on July 1, after the Ministry of Health’s publication of final rules, barely months after the Affordable Housing tax was implemented.

According to the Social Health Insurance (General) Regulations, 2024, residents will henceforth pay 2.75 percent of their gross incomes to the SHIF beginning July 1.

The confusion surrounding the start of deductions has been resolved with the issuance of these rules, which also require member registration by June 30.

“Payment of contributions and access to healthcare services under the Act and these Regulations shall commence on the 1st July 2024,” the regulations assert.

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This step marks the end of efforts to transition from the 57-year-old National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to the SHIF, which aims to improve healthcare accessibility and efficiency throughout the country.

Despite earlier changes in announcement dates, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha reiterated the implementation plan, underlining that services would be provided beginning July.

“Our projection is that we need three months to prepare ourselves. We need a digital system to do the registration and test it ahead of the official rollout on 1st July,” she stated in March.

Last month, President William Ruto asked individuals to register for the SHIF as part of his government’s commitment to ensure fair healthcare access via Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

“In this programme, even low-income earners will contribute, with the government covering those unable to pay,” President Ruto stated, highlighting the adoption of advanced technology to bolster accountability and curb corruption within the system.

In contrast, the SHIF includes a revamped contribution system, with all employees required to pay 2.75 percent of their income to the fund, abolishing the former NHIF ceiling of Ksh1,700 for higher earners.

Individuals earning Ksh20,000 will contribute Ksh550, while those earning Ksh100,000 or more would face a Ksh2,750deduction. This is a considerable departure from past NHIF deductions.

Contributors who are neither working or designated as vulnerable will now make a monthly contribution of Ksh1,000, with national and county governments responsible for covering payments for poor persons.

Furthermore, the SHIF requires required payments from all people accessing government services, including foreigners staying in Kenya for more than a year, demonstrating a comprehensive approach to healthcare finance.

In Other News: Kalonzo Scheduled To Meet Kikuyu And Kamba Elders In Kiambu

Government Shifts Date for Implementation of New Mandatory Health Insurance Deductions

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