NEW ORDER

Senators Mutula Kilonzo jnr, ole Kina oppose new NHIF rules

In Summary

• Senators Ledama Ole Kina (Narok) and Mutula Kilonzo Junior (Makueni) on Saturday said the new regulations are discriminatory to subscribers and do not conform with the law.

• According to the new rules, new subscribers to the fund will have to pay an upfront one-year subscription at registration. 

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior
Image: MUTUA KAMETI

A section of senators have opposed the new regulations and rules introduced by the National Hospital Insurance Fund- NHIF.

Senators Ledama Ole Kina (Narok) and Mutula Kilonzo Junior (Makueni) on Saturday said the new regulations are discriminatory to subscribers and do not conform with the law.

They spoke at Ikalyoni primary school in Makueni County during an award ceremony for the best pupils in primary schools within the county.

 
 
 

The legislators said they will reject the new regulations in the Senate.

According to the new NHIF rules and regulations, subscribers will be allowed to enlist only one wife and five children.

According to the new rules, new subscribers to the fund will have to pay an upfront one-year subscription at registration. 

NHIF's acting head of registration and compliance R.O Otom in a circular to regional and branch managers imposed new regulations with punitive measures to deter defaulting in monthly contributions.

The full year's subscription will be required to be settled within the 90 days waiting period. 

 If a member defaults in payment or pays late, the new rules require that he or she will have to pay half of the monthly subscription for each month defaulted or paid late.  

They require that if the default is for 11 months, besides the 50 per cent of the monthly subscription for all the months defaulted, they will also have to pay another one-year subscription in advance. They will not be allowed to access the services for 30 days after paying up. 

 

But Ole Kina said, "We approved a piece of legislation allowing polygamous marriage, it is wrong for NHIF to say that now if you have seven children or 2 wives, one wife and some children do not qualify the benefits of the scheme, this is discriminatory and we as legislators will reject it".

He proposed a total overhaul of the NHIF system saying it is not benefiting the subscribers.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr said the new regulations are contradictory to the law.

"We cannot limit NHIF beneficiaries if the law has not limited the number of children or wives one should have," he said.

He called on President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Cabinet Secretary in the ministry of health Cecil Kariuki to get involved and streamline the scheme for the benefit subscribers.

 

The second term legislator said the new regulations and rules will suppress Universal Health care.

"Universal Health care is about ever Kenyan getting treatment for free, so what NHIF is doing is limiting UHC and we will oppose the regulations with the strongest terms possible," he said.

The senator also wants NHIF to account for the huge amount of money paid by subscribers.

Mutula Jr and Ole Kina said universal health care should be strengthened through the county governments since health is a devolved function.