NHIF was replaced by the Social Health Insurance Fund as Employees contributed more.
The Primary Health Care Act, 2023—one of the four health laws signed by President William Ruto on Thursday— provides for the construction of community health units across the country to facilitate delivery and access to primary health care services at the grassroots.
The health units will be set up by the 47 county governments, which will be expected to closely work with the national government to ensure the success of the UHC.
The new Act defines a community health unit as one with 1,000 households.
Each will be under a community health committee and will be linked to a healthcare facility.
Other Bills that were signed into law on Thursday are the Social Health Insurance Act, of 2023, the Digital Health Act, of 2023 and the Facilities Improvement Financing Act, of 2023.
Should Parliament approve the regulations that will anchor the new laws, formal workers should expect to contribute 2.75 per cent of their gross monthly pay while those for the informal sector will be Sh. 500 to a Social Health Insurance Fund to finance the new UHC plan.
The national and county governments will pay contributions to needy Kenyans.
Contribution to the fund will be mandatory for all adults seeking government services.
The current National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) is expected to be fully wound up by October 19, 2024, and it will transfer all the cash balances to the Social Health Insurance Fund.
The plan is critical in helping Kenya move closer to the globally accepted ratio of health access as set out by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
But the plan presents one of the biggest tests to Dr Ruto’s healthcare promise given the poor state and uneven distribution of the health facilities in addition to the shortage of healthcare workers, estimated to be hundreds of thousands.