Kenyans Face Increased Deductions As Contributions Kick Off In July 2024

In a significant development for healthcare in Kenya, citizens will commence contributing to the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) starting July 2024, marking a pivotal shift in the country’s health financing landscape.

Terry Rotich, the acting corporation secretary at the Social Health Authority (SHA), made the announcement recently, indicating a revised timeline for the commencement of contributions and access to healthcare under the scheme. Initially slated for March, the payment of contributions and enrollment will now kick off on July 1, according to Rotich.

Under the new arrangement, every Kenyan is required to apply to the authority for registration as a SHIF member by June 30, ensuring comprehensive coverage and access to healthcare services. Importantly, existing members of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) will also need to register afresh with the authority as members of SHIF.

The introduction of SHIF marks a fundamental transition from NHIF and is designed to enhance healthcare access and quality while addressing gaps in the current system. Notably, the new scheme will eliminate the previous maximum contribution limit of Ksh. 1,700, leading to increased deductions for employed Kenyans.

Under the revised scheme, households with income from salaried employment will pay a monthly statutory deduction to SHIF, calculated at a rate of 2.75% of the gross salary. The minimum monthly contribution is set at Ksh. 300, ensuring affordability and broad participation.

For instance, individuals earning a gross salary of Ksh. 50,000 will contribute Ksh. 1,375 monthly, while those earning over Ksh. 100,000 will contribute Ksh. 2,750. High earners, including those with a gross income of Ksh. 500,000 or Ksh. 1,000,000, will also see adjustments in their contributions.

Moreover, households with non-salaried income will pay an annual contribution to SHIF based on a means-testing instrument, ensuring equitable participation across income brackets.

Crucially, SHIF will offer provisions for beneficiaries to access treatment outside Kenya under specific conditions, including compliance with SHIF Act regulations and approval by the authority for treatment abroad. The rollout of SHIF represents a significant milestone in Kenya’s healthcare sector, aiming to achieve universal health coverage and ensure equitable access to quality healthcare services for all citizens.