Following the cabinet's approval to scrap the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), a Bill has been tabled in Parliament to form a new body that will take up the function.
The Social Health Insurance Bill 2023, proposes the formation of the Social Health Authority which will manage all the three funds created to streamline public health insurance.
These funds include the Primary Healthcare Fund, Social Health Insurance Fund, and Emergency, Chronic, and Critical Illness Fund all of which will be managed by the proposed Authority.
All Kenyan households and residents will be required to register with the Authority, akin to NHIF. Monthly payments will be made to the body, with employers also making contributions.
Just like NHIF, the body will have a board with members drawn from the ministry, professional associations, and unions.
The new Bill has scrapped board membership for the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) and instead a representative from the association of the informal sector, popularly known as jua kali.
The Authority will have 12 members including the chief executive as an ex-officio member.
To ensure a smooth transition from NHIF to the Social Health Authority, NHIF will be given one year after the Bill passes to wind up.
"On the appointed day, all the funds, assets, and other property movable and immovable which immediately before that day, were held for and on behalf of the Fund in the name of the National Health Insurance Board shall by virtue of this paragraph and without further assurance vest in the Authority," read part of the Bill.
Further after the successful transition, all actions, suits, or legal proceedings pending by or against the government for and on behalf of NHIF will be carried on or prosecuted by or against the Authority.
Also, on the day the Authority takes over, NHIF will not provide enhanced benefits schemes and packages.
The Bill seeks to put in place a legislative framework to regulate the provision of social health insurance and promote the implementation of Universal Health Coverage.
"It will ensure that all Kenyans have access to affordable and comprehensive quality health services," the Bill reads.