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NHIF need not lock out contributors

By Kim Njuguna | February 11th 2016

Just the other day, the National Hospital Insurance (NHIF) revealed that about 20 million members and their dependants will not be able to access out-patient services.

NHIF revealed the members were locked out after they failed to choose their preferred health facilities in January.

NHIF later clarified that members can still choose the health facilities they prefer but will only access outpatient health services from April when it pays capitation funds to the selected facilities.

Only 945,640 principal members and their 1.3 million dependants had responded within NHIF deadline of January 15 to choose the facilities. The rest, who include 4.5 million principal members, will not be able to access out-patient services for the next two months despite making their monthly contributions.

At the moment, we are made to understand that there are at least 5.6 million NHIF principal members who are eligible for medical cover. This number rises to more than 25 million when their dependants are included.

The out-patient cover is run under the capitation model in which NHIF provides Sh1,200 per month to accredited facilities for every principal member together with their five dependants.

NHIF should reconsider its decision to lock out principal contributors from benefiting.

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