Siaya County workers will have to dig deeper into their pockets following the decision by NHIF to deactivate their comprehensive covers due to an outstanding Sh42 million bill.
The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is said to have stopped their medical covers comprised of medical cover, group life and last expense for the financial year 2021/2022.
Employees who are now left in a vulnerable state told The Standard in confidence that this was despite the fact that the statutory deductions are made from their salaries every month.
In a letter dated May 31, addressed to county secretary Joseph Ogutu, NHIF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andrew Kutto said the county government had an outstanding balance that they are yet to receive.
"Reference is made to our letter dated April 26, 2022. The outstanding balance is Sh42,934,360 which has not been received to date. Please be notified that the cover has been deactivated pending settlement of this balance," read the letter.
Yesterday, Ogutu confirmed having received the letter from NHIF, blaming the delay to pay the insurance dues to technical hitches in terms of cash flow. He pledged to remit money to the institution by Friday.
In August last year, the county was on the spot for failing to remit statutory deductions of more than Sh400 million to different institutions.
A probe by Siaya ward representatives after they summoned institutions like the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), NHIF and LAPFUND revealed that the executive had not been remitting statutory deductions.
It emerged that some deductions like NSSF had not been remitted since 2013. According to NSSF, the county government inherited liabilities from the defunct County Council.
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The Standard had also established that the county owed LAPFUND Sh312 million, NSSF Sh20,423,523 and NHIF Sh63,976,650.
But yesterday, Ogutu noted that the letter was no cause for alarm.
“We have the last Sh42 million remaining, after settling a bigger chunk of what we owed. We are hoping to pay before the end of this week, we are working on it. We will however be in talks with them in case of a need basis because we are partners in this,” he added.