Murang'a Governor Irungu Kang'ata Denounces SHIF & Opts for Private Insurance for All Staff

Kahiga and Kang'ata
Governors Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri)and Irungu Kang'ata (Murang'a)
Council of Governors

Murang’a County Governor Irungu Kang’ata on Sunday, June 16, revealed that his administration would outsource medical cover to the private sector. 

Giving his reasons, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) elected county boss remarked that the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) being rolled out in July will not offer a favourable package for employees. 

This is despite SHIF being a brainchild of UDA and championed by President William Ruto as a means to attain universal health care in Kenya. 

“Starting in October 2024, the County plans to outsource employee medical cover to the private sector, as SHIF will not include an enhanced benefits package,” Kang’ata stated. 

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha speaking to President William Ruto during the inauguration of the MEDS Microbiology Laboratory at Syokimau in November 22, 2-23.
Health CS Susan Nakhumicha speaking to President William Ruto during the inauguration of the MEDS Microbiology Laboratory at Syokimau on November 22, 2023.
Susan Nakhumicha

The governor further revealed that he would also outsource medical cover for employees stating that SHIF would disadvantage them.

Currently, Murang’a County in partnership with National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) offers Kang’atacare medical coverage to over 20,000 households. 

Under Kang’atacare, the households receive access to inpatient and outpatient services as well as dental and optical covers. 

Other unique features of the coverage include the last expense cover of Ksh 100,000 for principal members, spouses and children plus Ksh 50,000 for parents.

“During this transition period, there have been disruptions in service provision for employees seeking medical services and Kang'atacare beneficiaries seeking last expense reimbursement,” Kang’ata explained the challenges of phasing out NHIF. 

He informed the public that approximately 400 families were waiting last expense payouts.

“Kang'atacare's last expense cover will also be outsourced since SHIF will not offer enhanced last expense coverage,” he explained of the plan going forward. 

The Ministry of Health has revealed that healthcare services will transition to Social Health Authority (SHA) under three distinct funds; Primary Healthcare Fund (PHF), SHIF and the Emergency, Chronic and Critical Illness Fund (ECCIF). 

Registering for SHIF will provide automatic access to PHF according to the Ministry of Health under Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha. 

While Governor Kang’ata is within the law to seek private medical cover for county employees, registration to SHIF and a subsequent 2.75 per cent gross salary deduction is mandatory for all Kenyan residents. 

Murang'a County Governor, Irungu Kang'ata.
Murang'a County Governor, Irungu Kang'ata.