Biometric registration drive in Kenya for health insurance scheme
A mass biometric registration drive in Kenya to enroll citizens for a health insurance scheme in the Nyeri County recently concluded as authorities hope to register more people for the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) project.
Nigeria on its part has received new mobile biometric enrollment kits as part of efforts to optimize the process of enrollment and management of subscribers for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The biometric enrollment in Kenya, which started on May 31 and rounded up on June 5, will be extended to other parts of the country, according to a statement from the Nyeri County government seen by Biometric Update.
The registration, the statement adds, is line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s call last year for County governments to ensure that indigents and vulnerable households are identified and biometrically registered so as to create a platform for easy identification and verification whenever they have to access health care services at accredited NHIF health facilities.
The biometric enrollment drive in Nyeri targeted all vulnerable households identified and registered in December 2020 for sponsorship into the National indigent scheme, all current NHIS members as well as new members wishing to join the scheme. It targeted adults as well as children of a certain age.
“The NHIF mass biometric registration will be conducted all over the country. Beyond that, we are also aiming to increase the number of uptake for the NHIF, which in the past, has witnessed dwindling numbers. We are working closely with the NHIF and we’ll also set aside some money in our budget to ensure that we can increase the numbers. We are looking at ways and means of taking the number to about 10,000 this time so we can have in excess of 30,000 households benefiting from the NHIF,” County Governor Mutahi Kahiga said in a video report published by Standard.
The County government also said it will pay the fees for low-income households.
Biometric registration for Kenya’s Universal Health Coverage scheme was launched in October last year.
Biometric cards for NHIF claims
While the biometric enrollment in Kenya is ongoing, some proposed changes have been made to the NHIF scheme, among which is the introduction of a biometric and electronic card for claims, Kenyans reports.
The announcement was made recently by the Chief Executive Officer of the NHIF Peter Kamunyo during an exchange with Nation media as he took questions on what to expect from the new proposed mandatory premium service.
“The Cabinet Secretary of Health appointed a Health Financing Reforms Experts Panel to help transform and reposition NHIF as a strategic purchaser of healthcare services. The implementation of the reforms is at an advanced stage: the amendment of the NHIF Act is currently in Parliament, the restructuring of our human resource is well underway and the introduction of biometric registration and electronic claims management system is also ongoing,” Kamunyo was quoted by Kenyans as saying.
Per the proposals which were made by a task force put in place to review the situation, a mandatory Ksh500 (about US$5) premium has been instituted and penalties have also been increased for subscribers who get benefits through false claims, Kenyan notes.
These proposed changes, authorities say, are intended to expand the scope of services offered by the NHIF.
New mobile enrollment kits for Nigeria
Nigeria has taken delivery of 37 customized mobile biometric enrollment kits and 100 identity card printers to help with registration for the National Health Insurance Scheme, This Day reports.
Professor Mohammed Sambo, Executive Secretary of the NHIS, recently received the devices and accessories from the Nigerian Communication Satellite (NIGFCOMSAT).
This Day quoted a statement from the NHIS as saying the move will go a long way in facilitating enrollment and the management of members especially in rural areas where there is no electricity.
Deputy Manager of NIGCOMSAT, Akin Morakinyo, explained said the biometric kits, which are resistant to rough environments, comprise a laptop, fingerprint scanner, signature pad, HD webcam, thermal printer and an extra battery that can run for up to eight hours.
The move is part of efforts to advance Nigeria’s e-NHIS project, Sambo was quoted as saying.