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NGO wants NHIF rates reviewed

24 April 2015, 09:21 Steven Njugunah

Nyahururu - A Non-Governmental Organization in Nyandarua County has threatened to stop contributing to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) if the government does not lower the new rates.

Over 10 000 members of ARECA-DAPS, an organization that contracted by NHIF to collect funds, held a peaceful demonstration in Ndunyu Njeru town Thursday protesting the new revised rates.

The residents said they may be forced to withdraw from the health scheme if the new rates are not reviewed so they can be allowed to continue paying KES 160.

The members drawn from the informal sector, including boda boda operators and quarry workers, said they were distraught and could not afford the required contribution of KES 500 per month.

“We want to urge the government to intervene and consider us in a special way. We cannot afford to pay KES 500 per month and most of us might be forced to stop being members of the health Fund,” noted Mercy Wanjiru.

Read Also: NHIF accused of delaying KES 600M probe

She said that most of them who are small scale business people hardly earn over KES 3 000 and would not afford to pay the amount.

ARECA DAPS Director, Dr Michael Munene said they would opt to move to court if the government does not intervene.

He said the organization was straining to raise funds for its members who are mostly elderly.

Munene noted that some elderly women were offering eggs and fruits to them so they can sell and raise money for NHIF.

Under the new rates gazetted through a Legal Notice published last month, the lowest income earner with a KES 5 999 monthly salary will pay KES 150 while those earning more than KES 100 000 will pay KES 1 700.

Those self-employed will pay KES 500.

The NHIF membership contributions will also be used to roll out a free universal healthcare programme for all Kenyans from June this year.

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