National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is a State Parastatal that was established in 1966 as a department under the Ministry of Health. The original Act of Parliament that set up this Fund in 1966 has over the years been reviewed to accommodate the changing healthcare needs of the Kenyan population, employment, and restructuring in the health sector. Currently, an NHIF Act No 9 of 1998 governs the Fund. The transformation of NHIF from a department of the Ministry of Health to a state of a corporation was aimed at improving effectiveness and efficiency. The Fund’s core mandate is to provide medical insurance cover to all its members and their declared dependants (spouse and children). The NHIF membership is open to all Kenyans who have attained the age of 18 years and years and have a monthly income of more than Ksh 1000. NHIF has 61 fully autonomous branches across the country. Each of these branches offers all NHIF services including payment of benefits to hospitals or members or employers. Smaller satellite offices and service points in district hospitals also serve these branches.
How to Change Your NHIF Preferred Hospital
The new NHIF guidelines provide for a member to choose their preferred outpatient hospital /medical facility where they will be going to seek outpatient medical help. The preference here is pegged on the proximity and well your own opinion about the facility.
Once you choose a preferred facility you will not be able to get your medical services paid by NHIF from ANY other hospital. In the situation where you might need to change your preferred outpatient medical facility/ hospital; NHIF allows you to do so twice a year.
On the outpatient medical facility form, you can indicate a different hospital for each of your family members. This very helpful for those families who stay in different towns.
There is usually a national call out for a change of NHIF preferred facilities. When the call is out you are advised to visit your new hospital and change your preference.
If you feel you need to change the hospital before a call is made you can still visit your nearest NHIF branch and submit the change of medical facility form.