Kenyan employees can now breathe a sigh of relief after the Kenya Revenue Authority announced a 15 percent insurance relief of premiums for those contributing to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) scheme.
In a statement issued on Monday, January 31, KRA noted that section 31 (1) of the Income Tax Act within the Finance Act bill had been amended to extend Insurance relief to include those who made contributions to the scheme.
The amount being claimed is equivalent to 15 percent of the premiums paid with a cap of Ksh60,000 per annum.
Contributions to NHIF will therefore be eligible in the computation of Insurance Relief as follows: Insurance Relief = 15 percent (Insurance Premiums + NHIF Contributions) but shall not exceed Ksh5,000 per month or Ksh60,000 per year,” read part of the statement from KRA.
The Finance Act 2021, sought to entice Kenyans to enroll in the Fund by introducing the insurance relief clause.
Previously, only a section of Kenyans – policyholders of health insurance, life and education – enjoyed an insurance relief on the premiums.
The move is a big boost for the Jubilee government’s aim to provide Universal Health Coverage by ensuring every adult enrolls in the medical scheme.
The government had initiated a number of policies in a bid to ensure a 100 percent Universal coverage. This was after a proposal to lock out all Kenyans without proof of NHIF membership.
NHIF CEO, Peter Kamunyo, had stated that the membership would be treated equally as other compulsory documents required when accessing government services.
“We are looking at tying the active membership of NHIF to other services just like KRA PIN is for those going for things such as opening a business or seeking government tenders. This is one of the areas we are looking at once the law passes to encourage enforcement of the same,” he noted.
Further, The Kenya Association of Private Hospitals (KAPH) had announced that it would deny services to all NHIF patients citing financial wrangles. According to Joseph Otieno, KAPH’s Head of Communication, the Fund paid little in claims as opposed to public facilities.
However, the situation was resolved after stakeholders from the health sector held a key meeting which led to private hospitals aborting their earlier plans.