SHIF Registration, Charges and Requirements
The Kenya Kwanza government has been making major changes in the health sector and the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) is among the new babies of this regime. While Kenyans were complaining about how the NHIF funds were contributing less to none in their medical bills, the government decided to introduce a new health fund.
In 1996, the government launched the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to be part of the Ministry of Health. Since then the parastatal has grown as the only government body offering health care services to Kenyans.
Different regimes have tried their level best to ensure this department grows and becomes more beneficial to Kenyans. The Kibaki regime did a tremendous job in enhancing the department, the Uhuru regime also made some changes including adding the contribution charges with a small percentage.
In August 2023, the government approved four health bills that saw the repeal of NHIF. One of the repeals was the introduction of the Social Health Insurance Fund followed by three other bills. According to Nation Africa NHIF data shows that at least 26 million Kenyans are above 18 years but the number registered for the fund is slightly 9 million. For the government to capture the remaining percentage they have to make it compulsory for everyone.
Difference Between NHIF and SHIF
The difference between the two is almost the same because all mean deductions cover the same sector. However, the big difference between the two is the implementation method.
Earlier while applying for NHIF it was a personal decision and mandatory if you’re earning a salary at the end of the month. For the “hustlers,” the decision to register for NHIF was personal.
However, with the new Health Fund things are a bit different as you might end `up being turned away from a government office if you don’t show proof of the SHIF card. According to the government, once the Social Health Insurance Fund comes into force, all Kenyans as well as foreigners living in Kenya must register and contribute the required amount to this fund.
A section of the passed act 26 (5) states that a person who is registered as a member of this fund shall provide proof of compliance with the provision of the Act on registration and contribution as the precondition of accessing public services.
In simple terms, this means that any Kenyan or a foreigner living in Kenya has to produce the SHIF proof of registration before you can access any government services including ID, KRA PIN, Land transfer, and other services.
SHIF Registration Requirements
- Unlike other registrations where you have to be a citizen for you to be registered, SHIF is set to register anybody as long as he resides in Kenya.
- For newborns, they’ll be registered at birth
- Another requirement will be placed once the registration starts
SHIF Payment and Contribution
With the NHIF the formal employment contributes something between 1400 to 1700 per month depending on your salary. Those in small businesses contribute Ksh 500 monthly. However, its successor things will be a bit different for the employed class as they’ll have to contribute 2.7% while the small business and unemployed will have to retain the normal contribution.