Hustlers targeted in Sh17 daily deduction health insurance plan

Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Cooperatives and MSMEs Simon Chelugu during the Manufacturing SMEs Convention on Strengthening. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The government is finalising a health insurance product that will be stemmed from the Hustler Fund which will mean daily deductions of about Sh17.

Alongside this product, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Co-operatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Simon Chelugui said, will also be an education policy. 

These products, the CS said, are based on the success Hustler Fund has had and what affects the population.

He was speaking during the Kenya Association of Manufacturers SME Convention at a Nairobi hotel on Thursday. 

CS Chelugui said to date Hustler Fund has onboarded 19.7 million Kenyans who have borrowed Sh26 billion and repaid Sh16 billion. As it stands, every five per cent borrowed from the Hustler Fund goes to savings.

The Sh17 that will be deducted will be remitted to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

“NHIF is engaging with us with the view of also taking out Sh17 per day from the hustler and putting it into health insurance,” said CS Chelugui.

This amount, he said, will then assure the beneficiaries of medical cover in cases of illnesses or accidents. It will also put an end to medical harambees and hospital detained.

“At least when a hustler is hurt, sick, or in an accident, they can walk to a hospital, be treated and be discharged. No one will be detained anymore,” he said. “We are finalising the product and hopefully soon we will be able to launch.”

“Alongside the same, is the education policy for the hustlers,” said the CS. The development of the product, added PS Susan Mang’eni, has been informed by the level of risks businesses, particularly micro-enterprises, face.

She said owners of micro-enterprises are embedded in their businesses that when they fall sick, they will sell their stock and use the proceeds to offset medical bills.

As such, their businesses risk shutting down.

“Our MSMEs, especially the micro, cannot differentiate their personal from the business finance. They look at their business wholesomely. Their whole life is in that business. If they fall sick today, they will close shop, and use whatever they have. And this happens when their loved ones also fall sick,” said Mang’eni.

“We looked at what factors make some of our MSMEs not survive within the first two years of their infancy, and we cited sickness and lack of safety nets."

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