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NHIF seeks a change in the law to cover future pandemics

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Economy

NHIF seeks a change in the law to cover future pandemics


NHIF Building in Upper Hill, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • NHIF Executive Director Peter Kamunyo told senators that there is currently no law defining how insurers must cover pandemics and epidemics.
  • Dr. Kamunyo told the Senate Health Committee that the NHIF (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which aims to create the appropriate health insurance legal framework for the achievement of universal health care, should be amended to include Provisions.

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) trusts that Parliament will amend the law to establish provisions on how pandemics and epidemics such as Covid-19 will be covered in the future.

NHIF Executive Director Peter Kamunyo told senators that there is currently no law defining how insurers must cover pandemics and epidemics.

Dr. Kamunyo told the Senate Health Committee that the NHIF (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which aims to create the appropriate health insurance legal framework for the achievement of universal health care, should be amended to include Provisions.

“It is expected that after the review of the Kenyan legal framework on health insurance through the amendment of the NHIF Act, regulations and policies will be established to create provisions on coverage of pandemics such as Covid-19,” he said.

Dr. Kamunyo said that NHIF currently only covers front-line workers for critical illnesses like Covid-19 following a presidential directive.

He said the average cost of Covid-19 admissions in hospitals is Sh603,130. It added that it costs NHIF up to Sh82,584 per admission day to treat Covid-19 patients in designated non-governmental institutions compared to Sh62,222 for NHIF travel reimbursement.

The cost rises to Sh241,468 for reimbursement of the market rate per treatment day.

He said the NHIF would require Sh10.5 billion for the projected utilization of six million.

“According to projections, the fund would need at least Sh1,086,309,745 to cover the population during the next six months. When limited to NHIF beneficiaries, this translates to Sh330 million, Sh1.4 billion and Sh3.6 billion in the three scenarios of designated non-government facilities, designated facilities and market rate facilities, ”he said.

He said that due to the huge financial outlay that would be required to cover members of the pandemic, coupled with the fact that Covid-19 risk exposure cannot be accurately determined, the NHIF has not been able to bear the costs related to Covid-19. administration.

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