Governors want the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) split into three institutions as part of reforms to restore order at the State agency amid collapse fears over cash shortage. The Council of Governors (CoG) said the three should handle independent roles of claims payment, accreditation of health facilities and the social insurance health fund.
Revenue-expenditure projections of the NHIF tabled in Parliament in February show the fund may start running deficits from as early as this year if no reforms are made.
“The NHIF reforms should thus aim at transforming the institution to set up strong legal and regulatory framework … that will deliver Universal Healthcare,” said CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya.
He said the independent institutions would help restore order in the management of public resources at the NHIF.
Earlier this year, the Interior ministry launched the search for private medical insurers to cover police and prison officers in a move set to deny the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) annual premiums worth Sh5 billion.
The heavy task of covering the 131,151 officers will now fall on the shoulders of a consortium consisting of up to three insurance firms, the National Police Service says in tender documents. The lucrative tender is set to run for a renewable term of two years and three months.
“The comprehensive medical insurance cover has been designed to provide in-patient, outpatient and additional benefits as provided in the detailed scope of the cover,” says the National Police Service in the bid documents published on its website.
Under the cover, each officer will have a spouse and up to five children aged between zero and 25 years covered.
The move by the National Police Service to put its officers under a new health scheme comes barely a few weeks after the Treasury barred the NHIF from providing commercial insurance services.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani in December directed NHIF to either drop commercial insurance services or abide by Section 19 of the Insurance Act that would put it under tehe Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA). Among other things, the IRA monitors service providers for financial soundness and ability to honour claims.
Police officers have over the years formed an important cog of NHIF’s special medical schemes from which it collected Sh12.7 billion worth of premium in 2017/2018, audited report shows. The exit of the government agencies is set to dent the financials of the NHIF even as the State hinges its hopes on it to support its universal health push.
At least 40 parastatals and 15 State-controlled agencies, from which the NHIF has been collecting more than Sh1.9 billion per year in premiums, are set to follow suit.
That will leave the NHIF to rely on contribution from members that stood at Sh32.9 billion in the financial year to June 2018 as compared to Sh29.8 billion the previous financial year.