In a move to ensure a seamless transition from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to the new Social Health Authority (SHA), the Ministry of Health has pledged to clear all outstanding remittances before the end of the transition period.

Health Cabinet Secretary Suzan Nakhumicha revealed that the NHIF is grappling with substantial debts, including Sh20 billion in medical claims and Sh9.3 billion owed to co-insurers.

Additionally, the fund has Sh28 billion in unpaid premiums as of June 31, 2024.

Speaking to the Senate Health Committee on the rollout of Universal Health Care (UHC), CS Nakhumicha stated, “As of May 31 2024 the Fund owed medical claims of Sh.20 Billion and Sh.9.3 Billion to co-insurers. The outstanding premiums owed to the Fund were Sh.28 Billion. The Ministry of Health and the Authority have put in place measures to ensure the claims are settled before the end of the transition.”

The Ministry is making concerted efforts to ensure that all unpaid NHIF remittances to healthcare facilities are cleared before the transition period concludes.

This includes pursuing debts owed by various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) through the National Treasury.

The NHIF Board has also been proactive in cutting administrative expenses and prioritising the settlement of claims.

To facilitate the seamless transfer of assets, liabilities, and resources to the SHA, the Ministry has been rigorously verifying and reconciling claims.

“Following the enactment of the SHA Act, 2023, a Transition Committee was gazetted on 26th January 2024. The Committee works with both the NHIF Board and SHA Board, and they developed a comprehensive work plan which included verification of assets and liabilities of NHIF,” explained Nakhumicha.

Although the full transition to the SHA was scheduled to begin on 1st July 2024, the rollout team has acknowledged that the new system is not yet fully operational.

Consequently, the Transition Committee has advised that the NHIF continue its operations in the interim.

This phased approach will allow the SHA to be introduced gradually, ensuring that all necessary components for the new health authority are adequately established.

The Ministry’s commitment to resolving outstanding debts and ensuring a smooth transition underscores its dedication to achieving universal health coverage and improving the nation’s healthcare system..