News FlashesNovember 17, 2023

CRS News Flash 16 November 2023 – KENYA – Health Bills signed into law


It is important that employers note the following:

The Social Health Insurance Act 2023

On Thursday, 19 October 2023, President William Ruto signed four health bills that will support his Universal Health Coverage plan.

These are the Primary Health Care Act, 2023, the Digital Health Act, 2023, the Facility Improvement Financing Act, 2023 and the Social Health Insurance Act, 2023.

According to the proposed legislation, Kenyans will no longer incur catastrophic expenditures from out-of-pocket healthcare payments should they fall ill. The Acts will provide the necessary legal and institutional framework for the successful rollout of Universal Health Coverage.

The Social Health Insurance Act repeals the current National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and establishes three new funds:

·        The Primary Healthcare Fund;

·        The Social Health Insurance Fund; and

·        The Emergency, Chronic and Critical Illness Fund.

The Primary Healthcare Fund will purchase services from health facilities at levels one to three, while the Social Health Insurance Fund will cover services at levels four to six. The Emergency, Chronic and Critical Illness Fund will handle emergency and chronic illness costs once social health insurance is depleted.

The following persons will be liable to contribute to the Social Health Insurance Fund:

·        Every Kenyan household;

·        A non-Kenyan resident, ordinarily residing in Kenya for a period exceeding twelve months;

·        The national government;

·        The county government; and

·        Any other employer.

Under the current system, employers in the formal sector deduct NHIF contributions from their employees’ gross salaries and remit these funds to the NHIF.

The new changes will require all employers to retain this mandate by deducting 2.75% of their employees’ gross salaries and promptly remitting these contributions to the Social Health Insurance Fund to ensure compliance and avoid potential penalties and interest associated with non-compliance.

It is important to emphasise that there is no corresponding contribution required from the employer; their sole responsibility is to deduct and remit these funds.

Please be aware that the implementation date of the new health Acts has not yet been declared.

To view the health bills that will support the Universal Health Coverage plan, follow the link.

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