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HomeNEWSThe Controversial Move to Require Hustler Fund Members to Contribute to NHIF

The Controversial Move to Require Hustler Fund Members to Contribute to NHIF

The Controversial Move to Require Hustler Fund Members to Contribute to NHIF

The government led by Ruto intends to require those who have received loans from the Hustler Fund to register for the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) as part of an initiative to finally implement the universal health coverage plan, which has been delayed for a long time.

Simon Chelugui, the Cabinet Secretary for Co-operatives and Small Enterprises, announced on Thursday that his department is currently in talks with NHIF to allocate some of the borrowed funds from the Hustler Fund to the national health insurance scheme.

“Alongside that (borrowing) are bespoke products which we will be launching. On universal health coverage, NHIF is engaging with us with a view of also taking out Sh17 per day from this hustler and putting it in their health insurance,” Mr Chelugui told a manufacturing SMEs convention in Nairobi.

“This amount will assure them of medical and accident expenses. At least when a hustler is hurt or gets into an accident or is sick, he can walk to any hospital and they are treated and released. No one will be detained anymore.”

It is not clear from Mr. Chelugui’s statement how the money will be collected from the Hustler Fund borrowers. The amount is approximately equal to the minimum monthly premium of Sh500 charged by NHIF to people in the informal sector.

Despite implementing pilots in several counties, Kenya has struggled for over 20 years to achieve universal health coverage (UHC).

The UHC program aims to reduce out-of-pocket medical expenses, which often cause families in the informal sector to incur large hospital bills and push approximately 1.5 million Kenyans into poverty each year, according to conservative estimates.

President William Ruto has promised to deliver on the long-awaited implementation of UHC, which was a major campaign promise of the previous two administrations but remained unfulfilled due to the challenges posed by the highly informal economy.

However, the implementation of UHC has faced difficulties, as NHIF has disclosed that over half of its registered members are not paying premiums, which has impacted its ability to generate sufficient funds for hospital bills under the UHC program.

Dr. Ruto has committed to using technology and reducing the minimum monthly premiums to ensure the successful implementation of UHC.

The Controversial Move to Require Hustler Fund Members to Contribute to NHIF

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