The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is a key part of healthcare in Kenya. It started in 1966 to make sure all Kenyans have proper medical care.1 NHIF strives to keep healthcare affordable and easy to access for everyone in the country. It has changed with the times to meet new healthcare needs, work changes, and health sector progress.

Table of Contents

Create an image that visually represents the concept of comprehensive healthcare coverage provided by the National Hospital Insurance Fund. Focus on depicting a sense of security and peace of mind for patients when it comes to their healthcare needs. Use colors that convey a feeling of trust and professionalism. Incorporate medical icons such as stethoscope, pills, or medical cross to emphasize the healthcare aspect.

Key Takeaways

  • NHIF was established in 1966 as a state parastatal under the Ministry of Health.1
  • NHIF has over 8,000 contracted facilities supported by over 100 service outlets and digital platforms.1
  • NHIF CEO emphasized the importance of public education to ensure Kenyans understand the benefits and importance of NHIF healthcare coverage.1
  • NHIF partners with county governments and organizations like the National Cancer Institute of Kenya to expand healthcare access and services.1
  • NHIF’s UHC Supa Cover offers comprehensive benefits with no maximum age limit, pre-existing condition exclusions, or limit on the number of legal children.1

Understanding Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) ensures everyone can get needed health services. It does this without causing money problems. The UHC service coverage index has improved from 2000 to 2021, showing better access.2 It is vital for a community’s health and happiness because it gives fair access to good healthcare.

What is Universal Health Coverage?

UHC means all people can use important health services without financial worry.2 Despite this aim, in 2021, about 4.5 billion people still lacked full essential service access. Roughly 2 billion people had money troubles because of healthcare costs, and 1 billion faced very high spending.2

Importance of UHC

UHC is very important. It’s crucial for a strong healthcare system that betters health, cuts extra costs, and keeps finances safe. But sadly, the COVID-19 crisis hurt healthcare in 92% of countries in 2021, with 84% still struggling in 2022.2

Benefits of UHC

UHC brings many good effects. It boosts health results, lowers extra costs, and protects money. By 2019, 2 billion people suffered from healthcare costs, placing many into poverty.2 In 2021, 25 million kids missed their vaccinations, and there was a big gap in COVID-19 vaccinations between richer and poorer countries.2

About the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF)

The NHIF began in 1966 under the Kenya Ministry of Health.3 It helps meet the changing health needs of Kenyans. This includes changes in healthcare, work, and the health sector’s structure.3 The NHIF gives important health insurance. It’s for both private and informal workers, and those who are struggling financially.1

History of NHIF

In 1966, the Kenyan parliament set up the NHIF.3 They did this through an Act of parliament within the health ministry. The goal was to keep up with Kenya’s changing healthcare, work, and health system.1

NHIF’s Role in Kenya’s Healthcare System

The NHIF is vital in Kenyan healthcare by offering low-cost health insurance. It’s for both formal and informal workers, and those in need.1

With over 8,000 health facilities and 100 service points, NHIF offers wide coverage.1 CEO Elijah Wachira wants to make sure Kenyans know what NHIF offers.1

The NHIF joined the NCI-KE in 2023 at the first National Cancer Summit.1 This was to support cancer care.

NHIF’s CEO: Educating Kenyans on Healthcare

The CEO of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), Elijah Wachira, knows how important it is for Kenyans to grasp the full benefits of the NHIF healthcare coverage.4 He highlights the need to work together with others to inform Kenyans about what the NHIF offers and the risks of not having enough healthcare protection.

Mr. Wachira is devoted to teaching Kenyans about health. This shows NHIF’s strong aim to get everyone covered with health services, which is known as universal health coverage (UHC).4 He points out that UHC is a major goal for the government, listed in the Big Four Agenda. He stresses how important it is for both public and private sectors to team up to meet this goal.

NHIF is working closely with several groups to make sure the NSHIF offers the best healthcare support to all Kenyans.4 They are in touch with the Federation of Kenya Employers, NHIF leaders, and others. Together, they are fixing the NSHIF to meet Kenyans’ healthcare needs better.

The NHIF CEO stresses the need for educating the public and running awareness programs to highlight the NSHIF’s benefits.4 NHIF aims to grow the types of services and number of healthcare providers available under the NSHIF. They believe this will make the fund work better, helping more Kenyans get quality care.

Partnerships and Initiatives

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) works with others to make healthcare better for Kenyans.5 It teams up with county governments. This is to register dependents and widen coverage, especially in the informal sector.5

NHIF and National Cancer Institute of Kenya

NHIF also joined hands with the National Cancer Institute of Kenya (NCI-KE) in the first National Cancer Summit 2023. They aimed to provide better care for cancer patients.5

NHIF Roadshow

NHIF hit the road with a special mission. They traveled the country to teach people about NHIF. They want everyone to know the benefits you get from NHIF.5

NHIF and County Governments

NHIF’s teamwork with county governments is key. It helps add more people to the NHIF family. They focus a lot on folks in the informal sector too.5 This team effort boosts healthcare access for many in Kenya.5

The NHIF roadshow is making a big difference too. It spreads the word about NHIF. People learn how it helps and why it’s important.5 NHIF wants more people to join. They offer great coverage. This helps move closer to everyone in Kenya being covered.5

Working with the National Cancer Institute of Kenya is a major NHIF move. It fights cancer’s rise in Kenya.5 Together, they make sure NHIF members can get the care they need. This includes cancer treatments and support.5

UHC Supa Cover

The UHC Supa Cover is the National Hospital Insurance Fund’s (NHIF) top-notch medical insurance plan. It gives Kenyans the best benefits possible.6 It aims to help 1 million needy families during the first phase.6

No Maximum Age Limit

A special thing about the UHC Supa Cover is there’s no age limit for signing up.7 This lets Kenyans of any age enjoy full healthcare perks of the plan.

No Pre-existing Conditions

The UHC Supa Cover welcomes everyone, including those with pre-existing medical conditions.7 So, anyone can join and get the medical care they need, no matter their health.

No Maximum Number of Children

Families love the UHC Supa Cover because there’s no limit to the kids they can enroll.7 This means all their children can have the same great healthcare benefits.

Largest Number of Service Centers

This plan has a huge network with over 8,000 healthcare facilities and more than 100 service points.7 It ensures easy access to healthcare services all over Kenya.

6 Benefits of the UHC Supa Cover include both inpatient and outpatient care, maternity, cancer treatment, and much more.6 Almost all medical services are covered, like doctor visits, surgeries, and even health education.

6 NHIF members must use specific hospitals to enjoy certain benefits like surgery.6 The plan also pays for important tests like CT scans and MRIs.

6 There’s even mental and behavioral health care in this plan, for issues like addiction and childhood disorders.6 NHIF makes sure ambulances are ready for emergencies with the Kenya Red Cross.

6 If care isn’t available in Kenya, the plan will help with treatment abroad. But, the Ministry of Health must approve first.7 The UHC Supa Cover costs Kshs. 500 monthly for the main member and their family.

national hospital insurance fund Registration and Benefits

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) offers Kenyans full healthcare coverage. This covers self-employed and employed people. Self-employed folks can sign up either online or at any NHIF office. Those employed can join through their work.1 NHIF members can include their family too. They need to fill out a form and give some documents to get this done.8

Registering as a Self-Employed Member

Joining NHIF if you’re self-employed is easy. You can do it online or at an NHIF office nearby.8 After signing up, there’s a 60-day wait before getting benefits. This starts from your first payment date.1

Registering as an Employed Member

Employed Kenyans can get NHIF through their jobs. Their employer handles the sign-up, submitting all needed info and documents.8 Once in, they only have to wait 30 days for benefits to kick in.1

Adding Dependents to Your NHIF Card

Members can include family on their NHIF plan. This means spouse and kids. Just fill in a form and provide some documents like IDs and birth certificates.8 Doing this ensures your whole family enjoys NHIF’s great health coverage.

Accessing Benefits After Registration

Once signed up, members get NHIF’s services. Self-employed folks wait 60 days, while employed only wait 30.1 This way, everyone can use NHIF as soon as they’re eligible.

Checking Your NHIF Status and Choosing Facilities

Being an NHIF member means knowing your coverage and how to use it. NHIF offers easy ways to check your card status. You can also pick or swap your outpatient place easily.1

Checking NHIF Status

Need to know your NHIF card status? Send “ID [space] Your ID Number” to 1550 or dial *155#. You can also use the “My NHIF” app or the NHIF Selfcare Platform to find out.1

The SMS check costs Ksh.10 for Safaricom and Airtel users.9 If you prefer emails, reach out to Just know it might take a bit for a reply.9

Choosing or Changing Outpatient Facility

NHIF members can switch or pick their outpatient facility. Just dial *155# or use the app or platform.1 This freedom lets you go where you feel comfortable and cared for.

Whether it’s for checking your status or making a choice, NHIF gives you many options. This ensures you get to the right healthcare services without stress.

Show a person using a smartphone to access the NHIF website and checking their membership status. The person should be sitting comfortably in a well-lit room with a relaxed expression on their face. The smartphone should be prominently displayed in the foreground, while the NHIF website is visible on its screen. The background should be blurred, with only a few vague details visible to suggest a pleasant and non-distracting environment.

Inpatient and Outpatient Coverage

Inpatient Coverage

The NHIF gives a wide range of inpatient care options. This includes your stay in the hospital and all the tasks done for your health. It covers medical talks, specialist visits, bed fees, and nursing care.

Also, you get lab tests, X-rays, medicine, and bandages included.7

Outpatient Coverage

For those who prefer not to stay in the hospital, the NHIF provides outpatient care. Members can see doctors for check-ups and get tests. They also handle common sicknesses, provide medicines, and help with chronic conditions.

Their care isn’t just about being sick. It’s also about staying healthy and informed, like with family planning and vaccinations.7

Specialized Care Packages

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) in Kenya has a variety of specialized care packages. These packages are designed to meet different healthcare needs. They offer more than just basic coverage. Let’s look at what NHIF’s packages include:

Maternity Care

The maternity care package covers everything needed during and after childbirth. This includes check-ups, deliveries, and care for both the mother and baby afterward.7 The costs for surgery, medicine, and seeing specialists are also part of this package.

Renal Dialysis

For those needing dialysis, NHIF provides coverage. This includes doctor visits, dialysis treatments, medicines, tests, dietary advice, and aftercare.7 With this package, kidney patients get the help they need without worrying about costs.


The oncology package supports everything from cancer testing to treatments. It includes things like radiation, chemotherapy, and scans.7 NHIF is there to help patients through their cancer care journey.

Surgical Procedures

If surgery is needed, NHIF’s package takes care of it. This covers the steps from before surgery to the recovery, including all related costs.7 Members can have surgeries worry-free about the financial side.


NHIF’s radiology package focuses on advanced scans like CT and MRI. They’re important for diagnosing health issues.7 Members can get these tests without extra costs.

Mental and Behavioral Health

For mental health, NHIF has a special package. It treats common and serious mental disorders, brain issues, and substance problems.7 This is a big step in making mental healthcare easier and cheaper in Kenya.

Ambulance Services

NHIF offers ambulance services for emergencies. They cover getting to a NHIF hospital as fast as possible.7 The ambulances come from Kenya Red Cross E-Plus for safe and speedy help.

Overseas Treatment

Sometimes, healthcare needs can’t be met in Kenya. In these cases, NHIF offers to pay for treatments abroad, including scans.7 This ensures members get care no matter where they must go.

By offering these packages, NHIF shows its dedication. It wants to make sure Kenyans can always get the healthcare they need. This support comes without worrying about the costs.

Show a person receiving specialized medical treatment covered by the National Hospital Insurance Fund. The person should be visibly happy and comfortable, with medical professionals working around them in a clean and modern facility. Highlight the technology and equipment being used to provide top-notch care, while also depicting a warm and friendly atmosphere that emphasizes patient comfort.

Enhanced Benefits and Social Protection

The NHIF has increased its healthcare services for better social protection. Now, more people, like those in the informal sector and the poor, can enjoy these services. They have made sure everyone can get quality healthcare without needing to pay huge costs upfront. The new benefits cover a wide range of services for both inpatient and outpatient needs.10

Expanded Coverage for Informal Sector Members

NHIF has brought healthcare closer to people working in the informal sector. These individuals, along with those benefiting from the Health Insurance Subsidy Programme, can sign up by paying KES 500 each month. This move has greatly improved access to essential medical services for this group.

Health Insurance Subsidy Programme for the Poor

NHIF has also launched the Health Insurance Subsidy Programme for the poor and vulnerable. Through this initiative, disadvantaged groups can receive help to cover the costs of NHIF’s extensive benefits. This step aids in the goal of providing health coverage for every Kenyan.


The NHIF plays a key part in Kenya’s healthcare. It offers broad and cheap medical coverage to all Kenyans. This comes through the UHC Supa Cover and other special plans. So, people and their families can get good health services without big costs.11 NHIF works with others and educates the public. It aims to make sure everyone gets health coverage. This helps boost the well-being of Kenya’s people.

The NHIF in Kenya wants to reach more people. It aims to let everyone use good healthcare without paying all the costs straight up.12 It covers things like doctor visits, hospital stays, and special treatments. This includes diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure under the “Supa Cover” plan. Even so, there are issues. The NHIF’s plans don’t cover every service someone with these diseases might need. Also, it’s not focusing enough on stopping the diseases.

But, the NHIF is really working hard. It wants to offer total medical care to Kenya’s people. By being creative, working with others, and telling the public, the NHIF can do even better. It can make a bigger impact on health care for everyone.11,12,13


What is the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF)?

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is a Kenyan government agency. It was started in 1966. This fund aims to give all Kenyans access to quality healthcare. It makes sure medical services are both affordable and easy to reach for everyone.

What is Universal Health Coverage (UHC)?

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a system where everyone can get the care they need. It’s about making health services available without causing financial trouble. UHC helps keep a whole community healthy by giving fair access to good healthcare services.

What is the history of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF)?

NHIF started as part of the Health Ministry in 1966 in Kenya. It was created by an Act of Parliament at that time. Over the years, this Act has been updated to fit the changing healthcare needs and how the health system works in Kenya.

What is the role of the NHIF CEO in educating Kenyans on healthcare?

NHIF’s CEO, Elijah Wachira, focuses a lot on making sure Kenyans know about NHIF’s benefits. He thinks public education is key to this. It’s about working with anyone who can help reach out to Kenyans. Educating them about NHIF can show them why healthcare coverage is so important.

What partnerships and initiatives has the NHIF established?

NHIF teams up with county governments to get more people signed up. They focus especially on expanding coverage in the informal sector. They also joined with the National Cancer Institute of Kenya in 2023 to help with cancer care. NHIF does a lot of roadshows all over Kenya to teach people about their programs and what they offer.

What are the key features of the NHIF’s UHC Supa Cover?

The UHC Supa Cover is NHIF’s top health insurance plan for Kenyans. Here’s some of what it offers: no age limit to join, no limits on legal child additions, and no exclusions for health issues you had before joining. It gives you access to over 8,000 healthcare places and over 100 service outlets. It’s available online too, which makes it even more convenient.

How can Kenyans register with the NHIF?

To join the NHIF, Kenyans can sign up online if they’re self-employed. If working for someone else, they can register through their employer. Adding family members is easy. Just fill out a form and provide some documents to include them under your NHIF coverage.

How can NHIF members check their card status and access their NHIF details?

To see your NHIF status or get more details, you have a few options. You can send a text message with your ID number to 1550. Or, dial *155# on your phone. There’s also the “My NHIF” app and the NHIF Selfcare Platform. Use these to pick or change your outpatient clinic too.

What are the inpatient and outpatient coverage offered by NHIF?

NHIF’s care covers both inpatient and outpatient services. Inpatient care includes staying in the hospital, tests, treatments, and medicines. Outpatient care is for when you’re not staying in the hospital. It includes check-ups, tests, drugs, managing long-term conditions, and more.

What specialized care packages does NHIF offer?

NHIF has special packages for certain kinds of care. These include care for mothers before and after birth. They also cover kidney dialysis, cancer care, surgery, x-rays, mental health, ambulance services, and care outside Kenya.

How has NHIF enhanced social protection and expanded benefits?

NHIF has widened its services to cover more healthcare needs. Now, even those in the informal sector and the poor can get better healthcare. This helps keep everyone healthier without spending a lot of money out of their own pockets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *