Gov’t says NHIF cannot cover your COVID-19 hospital bills; its too expensive


Gov't says NHIF cannot cover your COVID-19 hospital bills; its too expensive
File image of National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) headquarters in Nairobi. PHOTO| COURTESY

The government says Kenyans will have to foot the bills for COVID-19 in both public and private hospitals.

The Health Ministry says it is not financially viable for the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to cover the bills for COVID-19 which are expensive.

“The cost burden of financing Covid-19 testing and treatment for NHIF beneficiaries both in the National Scheme and the Enhanced Medical Schemes would not be financially viable since it was not envisaged in the current NHIF premiums computation and the existing benefits package,” Health CS Mutahi Kagwe explained to the Senate on Wednesday.

He pointed out that pandemics and epidemics are exclusions in health insurance due to their nature in terms of “cost and risk modelling with the uncertainties, beneficiary access and claims reimbursements, scope definition and treatment/care plans.”

“NHIF would not have a financial obligation under globally recognized best practices, or its present model of operation, to finance the testing or hospitalizations related to this or other epidemics/pandemics,” added the CS.

Meanwhile, the Health Cabinet Secretary has ordered the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) to sell personal protective equipment (PPEs) in its warehouses at the current market prices which will see the institution incur losses of up to Ksh.2.3 billion.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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