It will now be mandatory for persons 18 years and above in Kenya to make a monthly contribution of Kes500 or Kes6,000 annually in the remodeled Universal Health Coverage scheme.

It is a relief for the employers after MPs dismissed an amendment that would have seen them make an equal contribution for their employees to the National Hospital Insurance Fund.

Had it been passed, the plan could have seen workers continue paying same amounts and employers matching in a structure modelled like the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

The lawmakers argued that the move would take away the intentions of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), a legacy project of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Currently, workers earning between Kes8,000 and Kes11,999 pay Kes400 monthly to the NHIF.

The MPs also rejected amendments by the National Assembly Committee on Health seeking to force the National and County Governments to foot bills for poor households in the country.

However, it is now mandatory for any person who has attained the age of 18 in Kenya to make a monthly contribution of Kes500 or Kes6,000 annually in the remodeled UHC scheme for outpatient and inpatient services, including maternity, dialysis, cancer treatment and surgery to the NHIF.

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This is after the amendment Bill No.21 of 2021, by Majority Leader Amos Kimunya was passed by the National Assembly as the Government streamlines access to quality health care.

Mr Kimunya said the Bill brings all Kenyans on board from the employed to the unemployed as they seek to implement the UHC program under NHIF amendments.

Members of Parliament also adopted categories and different rates for self-employed Kenyans, with Mr Kimunya saying it will ensure a self-contributor without a family pays a different rate than one with a family.

Defying the petition by the employers under the Federation of Kenya Employers to reject the amendments, MPs were unanimous on the need to bring everybody on board a public health insurance system that will guarantee all a chance to live a decent life regardless of their social status.

The amendments will now see the fund converted from a Hospital Insurance to a Health Insurance.

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