State health insurer, the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) targets to enroll over 360,000 Orphans and Vulnerable for Universal Health Coverage by 2019 through the Health Insurance Subsidy Program (HISP) for the poor at an annual cost of Sh2 billion. NHIF is currently implementing health insurance subsidy programmes which targets the poor and vulnerable who are unable to access health services due to financial barriers.
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According to the NHIF Assistant Manager for National Programs Ms Juliet Maara, the Health Insurance Subsidy Programme (HISP) is a government flag-ship project under the Vision 2030 which is being implemented by NHIF and financed by the Government of Kenya. HISP was launched in 2014 in all the 47 counties with the objective of improving the health indicators of the poor and reducing the financial burden among the poor households.
“The HISP program targets Orphans and Vulnerable Children households identified by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the NHIF premiums are financed by the Government to ensure access to the quality health care services as prescribed under NHIF National Scheme Cover. Through this financial support, NHIF has witnessed positive gains with the increase in the number of vulnerable households covered by NHIF has increased from 21,000 households in 2014 to 181,000 households as at June 2018 and improved health status among the beneficiaries,” she added.
Indeed, the Health Insurance Subsidy Programme is playing a central role to the health sector reform in Kenya with the ultimate objective of improving the health of the population pursuant to the universal coverage target of 2022,” Ms Maara said.
Some of the benefits entitled to the beneficiaries include, inpatient and outpatient services, prescribed laboratory and X-ray investigation services, packaged services which include: Radiological Services (X-rays, MRI, CT-Scan); Oncological Services (Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Brachytherapy for cervix and prostate cancer); Renal Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Surgical Package (minor, major and special packages).
HISP is aligned with the Kenya Constitution, the Sustainable Development Goals, the approved National Policies on Universal Health Coverage and Social Protection. Noting that there are approximately 9 million Kenyans who are classified as absolutely poor, NHIF will continue to support the Government’s efforts to realize UHC by progressively expanding coverage to reach more poor and vulnerable households.