The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has been given an additional three months to provide medical covers to police and prison officers on the delayed tender for a new insurer.
Inspector-General Hillary Mutyambai has written to the police and prison departments as well as the civil servants working in the respective departments informing them of the extension.
The initial NHIF tender lapsed last month with police and prison expected to get a new insurer.
However, a delay in the award of the tender has led to the extension of NHIF service amid complaints from police officers that the national insurer had by mid last month started declining to foot medical bills.
“The contract with NHIF has been extended by three months from April 1, 2020, or until a new contract is signed whichever comes first,” Mr Mutyambai’s memo read in part.
Police and prison officers had last month been informed that NHIF covers were lapsing on March 31. The memo did not explain why there has been a delay in getting a new insurer.
A lengthy delay in completion of the award of a new contract could see NHIF retain the lucrative cover for more than three months.
The tender for the new cover was advertised in January and showed that police and prison officers were to be covered by a consortium of up to three insurance firms.
Police officers have over the years formed a crucial cog of NHIF’s comprehensive medical cover from which it collected Sh12.7 billion worth of premiums in the 2017/18 financial year.
NHIF cover has been running from October 2017 after the previous arrangement with a private insurer, AON, lapsed.
Police officers in the lower cadre have in the past cried foul over the NHIF cover, saying it discriminates them by locking them out of top hospitals.