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National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF)

Year launched: 1970 and Before


The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is the primary provider of health insurance in Kenya with a mandate to enable all Kenyans to access quality and affordable health services.

Program goals

To provide accessible, affordable, sustainable and quality social health insurance through effective and efficient utilization of resources to the satisfaction of stakeholders.

Key program components

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) requires compulsory membership for all salaried employees with premium contributions automatically deducted through payroll. Contributions are calculated on a graduated scale based on income, with a majority contributing between KES 30 to KES 320 per month. For the self-employed and others in the informal sector, membership is contributory and is available for a fixed premium of 160 KES per month. To be a member of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), one must simply be a Kenyan resident age 18 or older. NHIF covers certain dependents of the primary policy holder automatically, including spouses, children under the age of 18, students (even if over the age of 18), and disabled dependents. Other adult family members require separate premium contributions to be covered. NHIF is responsible for enrolling and registering all eligible members from the formal and informal sectors. The benefits package includes coverage of inpatient expenses with the share of expenses covered determined largely by the type of hospital. The NHIF’s hospital network is broken into three tiers of hospitals. At “Contract A” hospitals, which include primarily government hospitals, NHIF beneficiaries receive comprehensive cover with no overall limit on the amount of benefits received.