The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is set to offer group insurance schemes following the amendment of the law governing the scheme signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 30, 2021.
The changes come after the new law revoked several clauses in the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) Act, 1998 allowing it to extend its functions and operations for public officers.
The revised group insurance scheme is set to benefit groups of public officers among them civil servants, county governments, and the disciplined forces.
With the new law, NHIF will be exempted from regulation by the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) for providing commercial insurance services.
President Uhuru Kenyatta assenting to bills at State House on March 30, 2021.
The IRA, in 2020, directed the state-funded insurer to stop offering group medical cover and last expenses cover to civil servants.
This was after the police and prison services had struck a deal with NHIF to provide enhanced group insurance for its officers.
“We’ve had challenges in providing our officers with these services, and that is why we decided to engage NHIF to protect them just like the other civil servants,” Interior PS Karanja Kibicho who led deliberations started in December 2020.
The new law revoked Section 19 of the Insurance Act that would have placed it under the supervision of the regulatory body.
Additionally, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, in a gazette notice dated March 25, 2021, also exempted NHIF for the purpose of offering enhanced medical, group life and last expense cover civil servants, National Police Service, Kenya Prison Service, county governments, county assemblies, and constitutional commissions.
The exception will hold for a period of one year to enable the state-funded insurer to source for an external provider for the enhanced medical covers.
In November 2020, the Treasury CS launched the first comprehensive insurance cover for civil servants and employees of the National Youth Service (NYS).
The cover was inclusive of a Covid-19 cover for medical personnel and other cadres of the civil service and NYS.
Treasury CS Ukur Yatani addresses the media on November 25, 2020, in Nairobi