SHIF Deductions to Begin in July, Govt Announces

Ezra Manyibe | 1 month ago
From left: Health DG Amoth, Health CS Susan Nakhumicha, and Health PS Mary Muthoni during a past press conference. |Photo| Courtesy|

Social Health Authority (SHA) Chairman Timothy Olweny has announced that the 2.7 per cent deduction of gross salaries towards the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) will begin at the end of July 2024.

The U-turn announcement was made in the Social Health Insurance (General) Regulations 2024 report which further required that registration of members to SHIF be concluded by June 30, 2024.

"Payment of contributions and access to health services under the Act and these regulations will commence on July 1, 2024," the regulations read in part. 

"Upon the coming into force of these regulations, every person resident in Kenya shall apply to the Authority for registration as a member of the Social Health Insurance Fund in terms of Section 26(1) of the Act not later than 30 June 2024".

In a prior announcement, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha had announced that the deductions would begin in March. She would, however, change the date to July before again reverting to March.

The announcement by SHA puts an end to the uncertainty surrounding the commencement of the deductions.

"Once the regulations are gazetted, they will come into effect, and the deductions will start at the end of the month, which is the end of March," CS Nakhumicha said. 

"Our projection is that from this month of March, we need three months to prepare ourselves, we need a digital system to do the registration, we need to test it and then collect the funds from the new financial year which is July, now Kenyans can start accessing services," she added.

Despite the government announcing the date for commencement of the deductions, Kenyans are yet to be registered to the new health insurance scheme. The government is also yet to issue guidelines on how it will identify vulnerable households for additional funding.

"We will announce the date when the registration will start, it will be soon. We hope that means-testing will be incorporated into the registration process," said Dr Olweny.

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