Gov't Says NHIF Cannot Cover Hospital Bills for Covid-19 Patients as Treatment is Too Expensive

The government says Kenyans will have to pay for Covid-19 treatment in both public and private hospitals from their own pockets.

The Ministry of Health said it is not financially viable for the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to foot the bills of Covid-19 patents, noting that the treatment is costly.

"The cost burden of financing Covid-19 testing and treatment for NHIF beneficiaries both in the National Scheme and the Enhanced Medical Schemes would not be financially viable since it was not envisaged in the current NHIF premiums computation and the existing benefits package," Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said.

He further indicated that pandemics and epidemics are excluded in health insurance due to their nature in terms of "cost and risk modelling with the uncertainties, beneficiary access and claims reimbursements, scope definition and treatment/care plans.”

"NHIF would not have a financial obligation under globally recognized best practices, or its present model of operation, to finance the testing or hospitalizations related to this or other epidemics/pandemics," CS Kagwe added.