Match NHIF deductions with enhanced benefits


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

The plan to raise contributions to the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) should be staggered and matched with enhanced benefits and quality service.

President William Ruto said on Monday the current rates, in which salaried workers pay between Sh150 and 1,700 depending on their monthly pay, are going to be phased out and replaced with a flat rate of 2.7 percent of the salary.

The impact of the changes is that earners of between Sh39,999 and Sh100,000 per month will see their contributions rise by between eight percent and 74 percent.

There will be even steeper rises for those earning above Sh100,000. While the move aims at giving the NHIF more money to support the State’s universal health coverage programme, the increased contributions should be matched with enhanced benefits.

The changes are also coming at a time workers are battling a high cost of living in an environment where pay rises have been hard to come by.

The State should therefore consider staggering the implementation of the 2.7 percent deduction to balance between survival and funding healthcare.

On Monday Dr Ruto did not announce any pay review despite calls from workers’ unions, in what leaves workers exposed to inflation-adjusted pay cuts.