As you do business or go about your work every day, you will realize that there are some things that happen that you have no control about. There are practical and impractical things in real life. One thing that has to stick to our minds should be spending in precautionary way. Life has numerous events, most of which are uncertain. They include hazards, risks of losing a loved one, and others such as uncommon diseases which consume our every coin we have saved. The saddest thing about life is that the unfortunate events happen when one least expects. Disaster does not happen when we are prepared. It meets us when we are most vulnerable. Since we cannot always resort to fundraisers to seek solace, it is imperative to be ready in case of any unanticipated happening.
The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is one the measures that has come into place to help Kenyan put precautionary measures in place in matters to do with health. It is a parastatal owned by the Kenyan government that was started in the year 1966. It was designed to provide medical insurance to the Kenyans after paying a little premium. The premium has come to be known as NHIF payment in Kenya so as to enable the government to provide and improve the status of health care in Kenya.
How does NHIF function?
The National Hospital Insurance Fund pool is mainly managed by the Kenyan government. Kenyans make contributions or payments every month. The money is guarded safely so that when a member has an unprecedented event, he or she can be assisted to get back to normal operations. The NHIF pool has made it possible for Kenyans of every status and all walks of life to be pooled together. The money is managed in terms of receiving money from every member and disbursing to the needy cases. Moreover, the overall keeper and watchdog of the fund is the Kenyan government.
There are various measures that have been put in place to oversee the administration of the fund and to ensure that the fund is not misused. For example, the fund has put a cap on the number of times that a patient can visit the hospital per year and have the hospital bill cleared. Moreover, the parastatals of the state are constantly checking the status and eligibility of the medical scheme since not every one can receive cover under the NHIF scheme. This is a hard issue to comprehend. For example, if one has not been consistent in remitting the monthly contribution, or if a person has stopped for some time to remit the money, he or she cannot be covered by the scheme. A person may also not be covered if he or she has faulty details, gives false identity, or has misrepresented some facts.
Administration of the NHIF medical cover
The main reason that NHIF is popular and in high demand in the Kenyan public is the way in which it is administered. The medical cover does not only apply to the principal member but also to the family members or dependants. For example, a lady could have a medical cover that would cover the husband and the kids as long as they have been updated in the system as her dependants. The only way to be sure that one can benefit from the NHIF cover is to constantly check the status of one’s cover online.
There are a number of options that you can use to make NHIF payments, but the critical issue is that the money goes to the same account and your respective membership number is updated as having paid for that particular month. One of the ways to pay is to access the online portal and pay. The online portal is www.nhif.or.ke. It is a very easy method since it guides you every step until you are able to make the preferred payment. Once the money is received, you will be sent an acknowledgement message to show that you have paid. Online payment is one of the best and safest methods.
You could also issue a standing order to your bank to have the money sent from your individual account to the NHIF bank account every month. In order to make sure that this method works effectively, ensure that you have an active bank account that has some money at the time the payment is being made. This method is mainly used when the employer cannot manage to send contributions though it is deducted directly from the pay slip most of the times. The deduction from the pay slip is a common occurrence for any Kenyan in formal employment. If one is in informal sector and has an active bank account that has money, he or she can use the standing order method.
Finally, you can make NHIF payment through the mobile phone money transfer service called Mpesa. You load money into your personal Safaricom mobile phone number. You then send the money to the NHIF using the pay bill number 200222. Use the following procedure to make payments via the mobile phone:
- Go to your Mpesa menu
- Choose Lipa na Mpesa
- Select pay bill and enter the pay bill number 200222.
- Key in your National Identity card number in the next lead
- Enter the amount you pay per month, i.e. the NHIF monthly contribution
- Key in your Mpesa pin and press send
- You will receive a confirmation message from Mpesa and later from NHIF saying that your money has been received.
NHIF is a clear assurance that you will not struggle in case of a medical bill for you or your dependant. When you have a sick relative, it is such a sad moment and finance is the most critical. NHIF is a safe haven for many people.