You will get free NHIF cover by December 2022 if you elect me, Ruto woes Ukambani

Deputy President William Ruto campaigning in Machakos County. [Courtesy]

Deputy President William Ruto has promised to give all Kenyans subsidised National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover, if elected president in the August 9 General Election.

His sentiments came just hours after NHIF board chairperson Lewis Nguyai announced a change of name to the National Health Insurance Fund.

While addressing residents of Joska, Machakos County on Thursday evening, Ruto said that he will make sure government pays premiums for Kenyans who cannot afford the monthly contribution.

“God willing, by the end of this year, all Kenyans will have an NHIF cover. For those who cannot afford the monthly contributions, I will make sure the government pays for all of you,” he said.

The presidential hopeful also took a swipe at the region's perceived political kingpin Kalonzo Musyoka, saying he had gone through so many frustrations as a result of his support for ODM leader Raila Odinga.

In his efforts to sell his Bottom-Up economic model to Machakos residents, Ruto compared his presidency to America's Joe Biden, who adopted the economic model for his election.

"Look at President Joe Biden of America. He is using the trickle-down economy and so far, the American economy is doing way better," he said.

This is in line with one of President Uhuru’s Big Four Agenda, Universal Health Coverage, which states a mandatory contribution of Sh 6,000 annually for all Kenyans.

Prior to the DP’s remarks, NHIF announced a number of amendments that would see it get into a healthcare provider contract between the national health insurance fund and the healthcare providers.

“This is to broaden the scope of service delivery because there are many healthcare providers,” Nguyai said.

The new name also includes organisations that have renal dialysis centres, cancer care centres and diabetic care centres.

The fund is currently undergoing a series of regulatory and legal reforms to ensure it is sustainable through a mechanism that has a robust beneficiary identification and registration.