All you need to know about the new KES. 4bn NHIF students’ Cover.

President Uhuru Kenyatta chit chats with a pupils after the final gala of this year’s Kenya Schools and Colleges Drama Festival at State House Nairobi. Looking on is Deputy President William Ruto and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday launched a KES. 4.05 billion National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) comprehensive medical cover that will cater for all students in public secondary schools. 

Through the new cover, the government will pay a premium of KES. 1,350 per student for the 3 million students in public secondary schools as part of the efforts to fulfil one pillar of the Big Four Agenda – provision of affordable health care to all. 

Speaking during the launch at State House, Nairobi after the final gala of the 59th edition Kenya Schools and Colleges Drama Festival, President Uhuru said that the negotiated comprehensive cover is unique as it only caters for the specific students, rather than the usual one that caters for families.

“This will ensure that our students access quality health services and thereby easing the burden from their parents and guardians,” the president said, adding that the initiative is expected to have a phenomenal impact in the transformation of the nation.

To bolster implementation of the new scheme, the president directed the Ministry of Health to ensure health facilities serving students have NHIF accreditation and also directed NHIF to register all learners to enable them access the new services when the second term begins.

“Since students are expected to be in school most of the time, the provider must ensure they have access to medical services close to school,” the Head of State said.

What does it entail?

All students in public secondary schools will be insured for treatment of all kinds of injuries and diseases including cancer and Aids.

Those who lose limbs inside school or during educational activities will also be entitled to prosthetic replacements at the insurer’s cost.

Students will also get their surgery costs footed, will be entitled to ambulances on land and on air and will qualify for reimbursement of costs incurred for treatment abroad.

Even male circumcision will be covered under its outpatient provisions, same as guaranteed access to vaccines against Rota virus and rabies.

The president instructed NHIF to ensure that hospitals involved in the programme are as near to secondary schools as possible.

“The launch of the comprehensive NHIF medical scheme for secondary school children is called for because quite often, incidences like fires and accidents have elicited a public outcry and the immediate action is an appeal to the government to step in and offset the medical costs of treating the students, clearing medical bills as well as funeral expenses,” he said.

Life cover.

There is also KES. 500,000 in life cover to be paid to the family for any student’s death while in school or an educational function.

The scheme does not have exclusions save for cosmetic/beauty treatment or surgeries. Expenses that ordinarily make parents jittery like laboratory tests, X-ray services, prescription drugs, consultation fees and treatment of chronic illnesses will be covered.

In-patient physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are also covered and so are all treatment as prescribed by the attending clinician or doctor are covered, accidental reconstructive surgery is covered but cosmetic treatment in nature shall not be covered.

Students will also be assured of treatment for problems pertaining to their teeth and eyes. Those who will be admitted in hospitals will also enjoy full cover throughout their stay, provided they are in facilities that have a contract with NHIF.

Bed entitlement for inpatient services shall be accessed in government healthcare providers, ward bed rooms in mission/faith-based healthcare providers and private hospitals. Even those who will be nursed from home will not have to pay for the services, thanks to the cover. In fact, a student injured in any school-related event even outside their institution’s premises is covered.

The scheme shall also ensure portability of services even when students are on educational functions outside their school or during school closure.
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