Insurance brokers wary of new NHIF Bill ahead of Senate date

Friday, November 12th, 2021 00:00 |
A view of the NHIF offices. /FILE

National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) Amendment Bill, 2021 may cripple the insurance industry, says the Association of Insurance Brokers of Kenya (AIBK) urging Fund to instead complement insurance sector players.

Speaking during the AIBK annual regional conference in Mombasa yesterday, the association’s chair Anthony Mwangi said proposed laws for NHIF must be deliberated properly since it will impact the insurance industry and economy.

The insurers fear employers who supplement employees’ NHIF insurance cover with private medical insurance may stop or reduce the private medical insurance benefits for employees to mitigate the rise in labour related costs.

“The NHIF issue is currently in Parliament, we have an opportunity to give our views on the Bill, since they have invited us next week, and we hope that they will listen to our proposals,” said Mwangi, adding that have nothing against universal health coverage.

Among the proposals in the NHIF Bill is that contributions will be made by all Kenyans over 18 years in both formal and informal sectors. Employers are required to contribute an amount equal to that which they have remitted on behalf of their employees.

“The private schemes have been there for a long time and we have taken a lot of time and investments,” he added.

Major setbacks

They say that the move will deal a blow to the insurance industry premium which contributes slightly more than 2 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

IRA chief executive Godfrey Kiptum said the industry has suffered major setbacks due to Covid-19 with some agencies being forced to downscale covers, but showed lots of resilience.

“People had stopped making payments to their cover but I’m pleased to tell you that about Sh1.2 billion claims have been paid and others are also being processed, and the sector is showing resilience and has a bright future,” he said.

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