More than 2,000 National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) members can now access outpatient services in accredited hospitals without restrictions. Patients will no longer need to receive services from the previously selected outpatient services in their selected facilities as per the restrictions.
Members will be free to access more than 2,000 hospitals accredited to the NHIF inclusive of the high-end facilities like Aga Khan Hospital and Karen hospital.
“I have come across several complains where a beneficiary travelled and became ill and he or she cannot be treated because they did not choose the nearby facilities,” said NHIF chief executive Geoffrey Mwangi.
Formal sector workers contribute between Kshs 150 and Kshs 1,700 monthly depending on their income to fund whereas self-employed citizens pay Kshs 500 monthly.
“Capping has to be there to ensure sustainability as it helps in reducing wastage or unnecessary visits. Limits are pegged to the contributions made, ”added Mr. Mwangi.
Though members will no longer co-pay as it was before, they will continue enjoying the same benefit packages in line with changes made.
Members will also not be required to make cash payments on top of the NHIF share in, the outpatient services.
Last month NHIF added 204 private and faith-based hospitals and dispensaries to its list of accredited facilities thus offering Kenyans more places for accessing healthcare.
The move comes even as the nationwide nurses’ strike has been called off. The strike had led to the closure of more than 50 percent of public health facilities since June, causing suffering and deaths, especially to hundreds of mothers during childbirth.
“We are geared towards providing more services and the more the hospitals the more the access to quality healthcare,” Mr Mwangi said.
Out of the new total, 18 facilities will cover eye, radiology, dental and laboratory services.