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NHIF medical cover still expensive, TSC tells Kuppet

EDUCATION
By Augustine Oduor | July 13th 2015

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has told a union that has opted for the National Hospital Insurance Fund-run medical scheme that it is far more expensive than the one it brokered.

A document discussed at the TSC head office last week during a meeting between commissioners and providers of the medical scheme, AON, suggests that even with the Government subsidy of Sh1.6 billion, the NHIF health cover is still more expensive for its members.

It argues the per capita cost for the TSC-run scheme is Sh19,400 compared to Sh21,212 annual fee for the NHIF programme.

While the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has backed the TSC-run medical scheme, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) has been gravitating towards the NHIF scheme.

Kuppet Secretary General Akelo Misori said the union will officially sign up for the NHIF scheme today.

A document seen by The Standard reveals that each of the 231,000 civil servants will still pay Sh21,212 annually to benefit from the Sh4.9 billion NHIF medical scheme.

“The Government contributes Sh1.6 billion to the NHIF scheme. This means that members contributions is Sh3.3 billion annually,” reads the brief dubbed ‘The cost implication of the schemes.’

The document, however, says whereas the TSC-run medical scheme that benefits 288,000 teachers is not subsidised by the Government, it is still cheaper.

“The Sh5.6 TSC medical scheme is fully funded by the teachers without any contribution of the Government. But the per capita cost is Sh19,400,” reads the document.

The document says that teachers under the AON cover will save Sh1,872 annually, even without Government contribution. “If the Government contributes to this scheme, the cost shall further be scaled down under the AON cover,” reads the brief.

Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion Sunday said even if Kuppet members part with only half of what is allocated to them as their medical allowance, they will still pay more to access the NHIF scheme. “So far, teachers are already saving over Sh1,800 annually. Even if they only submit half their medical allowances, it cannot get to the TSC cost,” said Sossion.

Hidden charges

Teachers currently get a medical allowance of between Sh700 and Sh,4000, and Kuppet is currently negotiating with NHIF for their members to be remitting only half of the allocation.

Sossion said Knut is pushing for a twin strategy that would see teachers get the best scheme. He, however, asked Kuppet members to “reflect on cost implications before signing up.”

“Why do they sign up for a scheme whose services based on enhanced rates are hidden under the table?” wondered Sossion. He said the Government should also subsidise teachers’ medical scheme as dictated by the law.

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