Following the conclusion of public engagement, the Social Health Insurance Bill will be tabled in parliament on Tuesday.
The Executive expects that a number of pieces of legislation, including the Bill, will be passed before the commencement of the Universal Health Care (UHC) program the following month.
The Social Health Insurance Bill aims to create the Social Health Insurance Fund, which would replace the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). If it is passed, Kenyans may be required to pay higher taxes in order to pay for the provision of the healthcare services that are intended by the act.
There are a number of ideas in the Social Health Insurance Fund that would frighten Kenyans. This fund will be used to construct a chronic disease and emergency fund that provides for chronic illnesses as well as for preventative, promotive, and primary care services at the community, dispensary, and health center levels.
The government will attempt to raise the required funds by deducting 2.75% of taxpayers’ gross income in order to make this a reality. Every household, non-Kenyans who have lived in Kenya for more than a year, the federal government, local governments, and other employers are eligible to contribute.
The government’s plan for providing these health services will also rely on precise data on persons who are qualified to receive them. The provision of fundamental healthcare services by the community health promoters will also be connected to this data collection exercise.
The county and the national government have agreed to pay a stipend to the Community Health Promoters participating in the exercise.
County governments have expressed some resentment over this arrangement due to the inconsistent manner in which the stipends are paid as well as concerns that the national government may not keep to its word, leaving counties with unforeseen expenses.