As Kenya continues to record a high number of Covid-19 cases with many Kenyans raising concerns over high treatment costs, the government has come out to explain why the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) won’t help offset the bills.
Appearing before the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and NHIF CEO Peter Kamunyo said it is expensive for NHIF and private insurance firms to foot the bills.
“It is not practical for NHIF and private insurance companies to cover pandemics,” Kagwe said.
Kagwe, however, noted that the government won’t neglect poor Kenyans who are unable to pay their bills.
The CS noted that the government will subsidise and write off treatment costs for identified needy cases.
“It would not have been financially viable for NHIF to finance the treatment of Covid-19 for the current National/Enhanced Medical Scheme members of the Fund, or a National Covid-19 response modelled under UHC, without external financing specific to the reimbursement of the pandemic related expenses, and at specific hospitals,” Kagwe added.
The two leaders had been summoned to respond to Kenyan concerns on why NHIF and private insurance firms have declined to cover Covid-19 related claims.
Yesterday alone, the Ministry of Health reported 1344 cases from 7,162 samples. 24 patients also succumbed to the disease raising Kenya’s death toll to 1,154.