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COTU drops case barring NHIF new rates

12 September 2014, 23:07 Ken Wekesa

Nairobi - Central organization of trade unions in Kenya (COTU) has agreed to drop a court case halting National health insurance fund (NHIF) from implementing new gazetted rates.

Speaking at the end of a two day consultative meeting between NHIF management, the funds’ executive board and COTU officials, COTU secretary general, Francis Atwoli said they agreed to reduce the maximum rates from the initial amount of KES 2000 to KES 1700.

The agreement brings an end to a court battle between COTU and NHIF that was pending in court since 2010 where COTU had accused NHIF of reviewing the rate upward without consulting members who remit to the fund.

Atwoli said they support the government’s vision to roll out universal healthcare through the NHIF subject, to the government making a significant contribution to the kitty and not using members’ money to offer services to non members.

The new rates will see Kenyans earning more than KES 100, 000 a month paying a minimum of KES1, 700 to NHIF, while those earning KES 5, 999 or less will pay KES 150. However the new rates are subject to approval by COTU (K) executives and will be effected as soon as they are adopted by the board.

In the agreement, NHIF and COTU will sensitize its members on the benefit of the new package. An agreement was also reached that NHIF makes arrangements to implement the enhanced benefits to members, continue publishing it’s audited accounts as an accountability measure, register and give all workers their NHIF cards for ease of access to benefits.

The Chair of NHIF executive board, Mohammud Mohammed, said they will roll out an outpatient cover to all its members. COTU had faulted the previous scheme that had only covered civil servant and members of the displine forces. The outpatient cover includes management of chronic ailments such as; HIV/AIDS, diabetes, asthma, hypertension and cancer treatment. It will also include surgical and medical interventions.

He revealed that NHIF is consulting with other social partners to ensure that they provide the best and up to standard medical cover.

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