The government has disclosed plans to abolish the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) cards, replacing them with a new healthcare system called the Social Health Authority (SHA) starting October this year. Daniel Mwai, President William Ruto’s health financing advisor, shared insights during an interview on Spice FM, emphasizing the transition to ID card-based healthcare services.

“Expect to utilize your ID card for healthcare access, removing the burden of multiple cards. Biometric verification at hospitals will streamline processes, ensuring accurate identification,” Mwai articulated, highlighting the efficiency and security enhancements of the new system.

Under the forthcoming Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF), Kenyans will have the flexibility to seek treatment at any hospital, including high-end private facilities, a departure from NHIF’s restricted choice model. Moreover, SHIF beneficiaries will receive detailed information on coverage benefits and anticipated costs upfront, enhancing transparency in healthcare transactions.

Mwai emphasized the inclusion of private pharmacies in the SHIF network, enabling seamless medication procurement when hospital supplies are limited. Payments will adhere to predefined tariffs, ensuring fair and regulated transactions for both patients and providers.

SHIF registration, launched on July 1, can be completed online via the SHA website or by dialing the USSD code *147#. As Kenya ushers in this transformative healthcare era, citizens are encouraged to embrace the forthcoming changes and leverage their National ID for hassle-free healthcare engagements.