Health

NHIF in talks on mobile loan packages to fund premiums

nhif

The National Hospital Insurance Fund building in Nairobi in this photo taken on February 9, 2022. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

The National Social Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) is negotiating a deal with banks and mobile service providers to extend medical cover loans in an effort to boost compliance.

NHIF board chairman Lewis Nguyai says the fund wants mobile service providers and banks to advance money to contributors to clear their annual contributions and recover the same monthly through a salary checkoff system.

“We are negotiating with banks and mobile service providers to have an arrangement where principal members can access a Sh6,000 loan to pay their annual premium at once and have Sh600 deducted monthly from their salaries or income,” Mr Nguyai told the Business Daily.

Banks and mobile telephone companies have been issuing loans to subscribers through applications.

The NHIF is seeking to tap the wide network to enhance its collections from Kenyans seeking medical cover.

He said the breakthrough with mobile money lenders and banks will see those who make monthly contributions to the NHIF kitty and are non-employed pay their annual subscriptions with ease.

“This will make it easy for those making monthly contributions to pay at once and have the mobile money lenders or banks deduct from their income,” Mr Nguyai said.

He said NHIF has Self-care platforms that empower all subscribers to manage their services at their fingertips from anywhere, anytime on any device.

“Members can receive updates and status on their accounts. The platforms also serve as a marketing strategy to attract new members in a mission to serve the whole population and achieve Universal Health Care.”

Mr Nguyai said the NHIF board suspects that about 48 percent of its medical costs is as a result of fraud and that automation of services will help seal the bleeding.

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