Get to learn the difference or the benefits and disadvantages of using National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and Insurance medical covers (that is private health insurance hospital covers) in Kenya.
The uptake of health insurance cover among Kenyans is rising owing to increased availability and affordability of health insurance covers. National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is the primary provider of health insurance in Kenya with a mandate to enable all Kenyans to access quality and affordable health service. It has schemes such as Civil Servants & Disciplined Services Medical Cover, Health Insurance Subsidy Programme for the poor, and elderly and people with severe disabilities.
Private health insurance covers are offered by private insurance companies such as Britam, UAP, AAR insurance, Eagle Africa, heritage, first assurance, jubilee insurance, AON and many other insurance companies. Many employers are also buying medical covers for their employees and dependants.The information below will help understand some differences between NHIF and private health insurance policies.
NHIF vs Insurance Medical Cards
|NHIF||PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY|
|Age||Anyone from the age of 18 years and above can take an NHIF cover as long they have an identity card.||Between 18 years and 65 years for most insurance companies.|
|Scope of cover||
|Premiums||Salaried individuals contribute from Kshs 150- 1700 based on salary bands and Self-employment 500 per month regardless of age and number of dependants. Can be paid in a monthly basis
|Depends on the covers purchased and number of dependants. The rate of the premiums increase with age. People taking their cover for the first time at older age pay more in premiums than their younger counterparts for the same type of cover. Usually a one off payment for a year.|
|Hospitals||NHIF accredited hospitals which are in three categories as follows
|Depend on the insurance company, mostly prefer private hospitals and mission hospitals.
Daily limits on bed charges depended on the premiums paid by the member. If a member spends more than the specified limit then they are required to pay the extra amount. Payments are usually net of NHIF.
|Limits||For outpatients the limit in terms of visits/ amount is yet to be outlined. For inpatient services it usually unlimited. However, for members able dental and optical services the limit depends on the job group of the principle member||There is usually a maximum amount per cover that a member should not exceed within a certain period.|
|Exclusions||NHIF does not cover vaccines other than those in the KEPI schedule, ant-rabies, anti-snake venom vaccines and yellow fever.
It also doesn’t cover cosmetic surgery and fertility treatments
|Vaccines not in the KEPI schedule may not be covered depending on the insurance company and cover purchased.
Most do not cover Family planning, Fertility treatments ,newborns admitted to NBU and any other services outside the purchased covers.
Gynecological conditions, Chronic illness and some dental procedures may be covered with some conditions for different insurance companies.
**It is always advisable to confirm with your insurance what they and what they because these varies across companies.
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