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How SHIF contributions will affect unemployed & non-salaried Kenyans

Unemployed Kenyans and young adults living with their parents have not been spared by in President Ruto's ambitious Social Health Insurance Fund

Ruto in Brown Kaunda Suit

The Ministry of Health has opened the floor for public feedback on the Social Health Insurance Regulations 2023.

The Social Health Insurance Regulations 2023 is a comprehensive document introducing notable changes to contributions and coverage within the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF).

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For non-salaried Kenyans (informal or cash based sectors), the regulations outline that households falling into this category will be required to contribute 2.7% of their total household income to the SHIF.

The Social Health Insurance Authority will develop a method of determining the income of non-salaried households by collecting data from the households.

Households which have an income will be required to pay their contributions fourteen days before the lapse of the period for which the insurance is supposed to cover.

Those unable to pay the money as determined by the authority shall have access to loans to help them meet the cost.

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All unemployed Kenyans will be required to pay the base rate of Sh300 per month to access healthcare.

Those without income and are above 25 years will be treated as separate households, even though they are living with a contributor.

"A person, who has attained the age of twenty-five years and has no income of his or her own or is living with the contributor shall be treated as a household separate from the contributor and shall pay Kenya shillings three hundred Sh300 per month," the regulations state.

Take for example a family where 2 unemployed children above 25 are living in their parents' home. The two will be required to make individual payments of Sh300 each per month as they will be both treated as different households.

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In cases where financial constraints prevent the household from paying contributions, the government has committed meeting the cost if their obligation.

Households that demonstrate an inability to cover SHIF costs will have their expenses incurred by the government, ensuring essential health access for vulnerable populations.

Additionally, persons under lawful custody can find solace in the regulations, as the Ministry of Interior will cover their health costs, contributing to an equitable and inclusive healthcare system.

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According to President Ruto, the ambitious program aims to lift the burden of paying hefty hospital bills from many Kenyan households with a low income.

On November 23, he said that statistics show low health insurance coverage in Kenya at only 26%.

Those at the bottom of the economic pyramid have the least coverage of less than 5%.

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