National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) has been having a major problem with fraudsters who have been milking the state- backed insurer dry.
Hospitals have been making false claims leading to the Fund experiencing huge claims that are not real. in a meeting with its stakeholders, the NHIF claimed that it may stop some of the payments it makes to hospitals due to over claims.
After a through review, a report was made by the members of parliament. Fines and sentences that were handed down to fraudsters were supposed to be increased in a bid to stop the bleeding in the state backed insurer,
The national assembly debated and approved the NHIF bill that sought to increase fines from Kshs 500,000 to over a million shillings and Sentences to two years jail time. This bill was amended to help the fund cut the loss of 16.5 billion annually that is majorly attributed to fraudulent claims.
This move would have helped the insurer in curtailing the fraudulent claims but that seems to be a far reaching dream after the senate recommended lesser stringent punishment for this fraudsters.
It looks as if the fraudsters have pocketed some of the senators who now seem to be making laws based on their interests and not on the interests of the country.
Universal Health Care
With Kenya aiming to achieve Universal Health care, the NHIF is looking to play a major role in that process. With most presidential aspirants having universal health care in their manifestos its seems that it will be a very important factor in the next government. Stringent measures and laws to curb fraudulent claims should be put in place and not the type of measures that the senate is putting forward.
The senate in recommending that the prison sentence be reduced to 2 years and the fines be reduced to 100,000 shillings. such fines will encourage frauds to defraud the insurer without the fear of consequences.
What the senate should be interested in reducing is the amount of penalties that are paid by Kenyans who are late on their monthly contributions but not protecting thieves who are stealing form the country.