NHIF ON THE SPOT:DP Ruto criticizes NHIF for failure to cover Covid19 medical expenses

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,17TH NOV,2020-Pressure continues to mount on the National Hospital Insurance Fund to extend its cover to cater for Kenyans who incur Covid-19-related expenses.

On Monday, the Teachers Service Commission announced its medical scheme will cover Covid-19.

Deputy President William Ruto lauded TSC for the bold step taken to protect its members from the pandemic.

Ruto on Tuesday said that NHIF should emulate the step taken by the teachers’ employer.

He said that NHIF should offer a similar cover to its members, especially students who are set to resume school.

The DP said that the government should mobilise all available resources to enable NHIF to cover its members.

While appearing before the Senate Standing Committee on Health last Monday, NHIF CEO Peter Kamunyo said that it would cost the NHIF up to Sh22.5 billion to finance the treatment of members diagnosed with Covid-19.

The amount would be 35 per cent of the total annual collection, he said.

“It would not have been financially viable for NHIF to finance the treatment of Covid-19 for the current National or Enhanced Medical Scheme members of the fund,” he said.

Appearing before the same committee on the same day, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said that the government has come in handy to subsidise and write off treatment costs for poor Kenyans unable to pay their bills.

Kagwe said it is not practical for NHIF and private insurance companies to cover pandemics.

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