The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is drafting regulations that will see Kenyans penalized if they fail to register as members in fresh law.
This is after NHIF (Amendment) Bill, 2021 came into law on January 28, 2022.
Through the new bill, the lawmakers in tailored amendments made it mandatory for all adults to be contributors to the national health insurance fund.
“Contributions will be by all Kenyans from 18 years and above in both formal and informal sectors,” the bill reads in part.
“Employers are required to contribute an amount equal to that which they have remitted on behalf of their employees.”
The bill pegs a compulsory contribution of Ksh.6,000 for the self-employed with no option of voluntary contributions to the fund.
The bill also proposes to have employers whose employees are liable as contributors to the fund to also be contributors to the fund.
Employers shall make a matching contribution equal to that made by their employees according to the new changes.
An employer is expected to make a matching contribution to that of their employee and is not allowed to deduct the same from the employee’s salary or benefits.
All Kenyans aged 18 and above are also required by the law to pay Ksh.500 per month or Ksh.6,000 annually.
According to NHIF Chief Executive Peter Kamunyo, they will table penalty regulation before the National Assembly for enactment.
The bill states that a person convicted of an offence under the Act for which no other penalty is prescribed shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one million shillings or, in the case of a natural person, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.
This even as the national government has offered to pay member contributions for vulnerable Kenyans.
NHIF Act 2021 describes vulnerable persons as those in need of special care, support or protection including orphaned and vulnerable children, widows or widowers, disabled persons or the elderly.