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‘We should be allowed to opt out of NHIF’ – Twitter user calls out the health insurer for non-performance

Toph Cassandra Beifong: AuDHD Electrical Engineer aka @W_Asherah

A Twitter user W_AsheraH wrote a long thread on the hypocrisy of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

She lamented that her mother was facing a surgery that was costed at Sh500,000 and yet the health insurer had only approved Sh15k.

“Okay, so my mom has surgery that might cost like 500k scheduled and NHIF just approved 15k. She pays 1200 a month to NHIF and has been paying all her life as a teacher – 30 years plus. Someone tell me who I should talk to because I can’t just let this one go”, Asherah wrote

She shared how she contributes Sh1200 per month which translates to Sh14,400 per year and it seems that that is the amount that NHIF is fond of approving.

“They did the same for me and I kept quiet despite paying the Kenyan government a whopping 2M+ in taxes. Paid a tonne of cash out of pocket after paying taxes. But my mom? She’s paid taxes each month for 30 years. And paid NHIF too. I want to strangle someone right now. “Every Kenyan should have insurance” “Pay for NHIF and they’ll cover your bills” Someone explain to me, clear as day, why I’m forced to remit funds monthly to NHIF. Why she’s forced to remit monthly to NHIF. If all they can manage is to return a year’s worth of contribution. NHIF is saying that for teachers and police, the maximum they can approve is 15000 KES (laugh emojis) So when people tell you guys to pay for NHIF ati they’ll cover your bills, you are being lied to. They did the same for me. But there’s money for corruption?”, She asked in the thread.

Peter Kamunyo, CEO, NHIF

NHIF has been unable to provide services to ordinary Kenyans yet some of its staff receive fully funded medical care abroad even for a simple procedure as removing a tooth. They use a lot of money ‘kama kujuana’.

“What’s the parliamentary committee responsible for this? And who is the parliamentarian that sits at the helm of that committee because I am finding them and contributing to the opponent’s campaign. Just point me to who – if you fight dirty, we can fight dirty too. I’m waiting to see what AoN approves as she’s being released. Walahi if I pay a single cent out of pocket for a 30 year civil servant, something will have to give. I have to say that I’m also wondering what part of the Kenyan law caps payments to teachers at 15k”, Asherah wrote.
She went on to list the members of Parliamentary Health Committee, then jabbed, “…The Vice Chairperson is THE MP IN CHERANGANI. I’m from Cherangani by the way. So I guess I’m sending Wesley Korir my best regards and spreading the word that Kuttuny shouldn’t be reelected”.

A few tweeps challenged her to take her mom to a public hospital because NHIF is meant to help those seeking treatment in govt-funded facilities. She had this to say;

‘For the clowns asking if she’s in a private hospital, here’s public hospital stories for you”

“The people telling me ati oh, NHIF doesn’t cover this, NHIF doesn’t cover that. Mmejiuliza why you are paying for something that you can’t use? You if you’re okay with making payments that you’re unable to access – huyo ni wewe. Some of us want services in exchange for our money. Civil servants use NHIF to cover private hospitals and contribute the same amount of money as teachers (laugh emojis) Kwani kuna Kenya ngapi? The idea that we should all just accept that hivi ndio kuko – people can’t even talk before camp “this is how it is” come here to lecture us”.

She challenged Kenyans to focus their anger on the true culprits.

“These people want a salary increment and have inpatient of 10M that can take them abroad. But my complaint is what’s urking you? Not that you live in a country where a medical bill will send you into poverty as NHIF deducts you monthly? Haiya!”.

MPs seek Sh1.1m monthly pay and Sh7.5m car grant

“We should be allowed to opt out of NHIF or pay less if they can’t cover more than 15k – They did the same for me so I paid 100k out of pocket. That 100k I could have covered with the premiums I pay them basi. Nikae nikijua hawako and it’s me, private insurance and poverty basi. Minet has reached out in DM – Waiting to hear what they say about covering the rest. This is pre-approvals – people seem to be missing that part of the tweet. But remember not every Kenyan can go to Twitter, scream about it and garner attention. Kenya should work for everyone”, Asherah wrote.

Hannah Muriithi, sacked NHIF board chair

Her Twitter thread went viral and elicited mixed reactions. She accused Private Equity firms of manipulating the Kenyan healthcare system, making it impossible to get good and affordable service.

“For foreign followers, divide by 100 to get the approximate value in USD. 500,000 KES is 5000USD. And that’s the approximate (surpise emoji) The mistake was letting US companies turn Kenya into their playground the way they’ve done in the US”, she wrote.

In the end, the lament ended in a giving up. NHIF which makes billions per month cannot sustain paying for contributing patients seeking medical attention.

It is a charade that the government thinks about Universal Health Coverage yet the corruption at NHIF stink to high heaven.

Management of the health insurer are fond of looting and diverting collected funds.

Hannah Muriithi, the immediate former Board chairperson of NHIF looted through MMC Africa and holding illegal meetings over the course of her tenure.
Procurement is the door through which the management loots money from NHIF.

Asherah ends by stating asking what’s the point of contributing money, ‘I hope the “they only pay bed if you have an insurance” crowd save this thread for when they get sick. They cover 15k then your insurance decides to cover 200k out of 500k – hiyo ingine utoe wapi? (laugh emoji), How about we don’t pay them so we source that 15k ourselves. Point ni? Like kama 15k is the cap, why am I paying them 15k every year? Ndio wanirudishie pesa ya mwaka moja? Alafu hiyo ingine wanapeleka wapi? Achangeni mchezo by the way – hizi ni arguments gani? Anyway – running away from this thread sasa. But sielewi kwanini tunakubali yaishe.”

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