Murang’a Governor Denounces SHIF Ahead of Rollout Opting For Private Insurance for Employees.

BySonia Njiru
Published on: Jun 17, 2024 03:06
Governor Irungu Kang’ata during a past event | Photo Courtesy

On Sunday, June 16, Governor Irungu Kang’ata of Murang’a disclosed that his administration would outsource medical coverage to the private sector further stating that the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) being rolled out in July will not offer a favorable package for employees.

This is even though SHIF was conceived by UDA and championed by President William Ruto to achieve universal healthcare in Kenya.

"Starting in October 2024, the County plans to outsource employee medical cover to the private sector, as SHIF will not include an enhanced benefits package," Kang’ata stated.

The governor additionally disclosed his intention to contract medical insurance for staff, citing the disadvantages of SHIF.

Presently, Murang’a County, in collaboration with the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), extends Kang'ata Care medical benefits to more than 20,000 households.

Within Kang'ata Care, households gain access to both inpatient and outpatient services, along with dental and optical provisions.

Distinctive aspects of this coverage encompass a final expense benefit of Ksh100,000 for principal members, spouses, and children, alongside Ksh50,000 for parents.

Kang’ata outlined the challenges encountered during the transition, particularly disruptions in service provision and reimbursements for last expenses.

He noted that about 400 families awaited the last expense reimbursements under Kang'ata Care.

"Kang'ata Care's last expense cover will also be sourced externally since SHIF will not offer enhanced last expense coverage," Kang'ata explained

The Ministry of Health disclosed plans to shift healthcare services to the Social Health Authority (SHA), divided into three funds: the Primary Healthcare Fund (PHF), SHIF, and the Emergency, Chronic, and Critical Illness Fund (ECCIF).

Enrollment in SHIF automatically grants access to PHF, as per Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha of the Ministry of Health.

While Governor Kang’ata is legally entitled to secure private medical insurance for county employees, all Kenyan residents must register with SHIF and undergo a mandatory 2.75% gross salary deduction.

As Murang’a County embarks on this transformative journey towards privatized healthcare provision, the efficacy and impact of the new insurance paradigm will undoubtedly serve as a litmus test for future healthcare policy initiatives within the region and beyond.

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