The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has instructed health facilities to offer services to members who are still holding the now obsolete NHIF cards.
The cards were phased out on July 11 after the agency embarked on a drive to migrate members to a biometric system. NHIF members are now expected to use fingerprints to identify themselves when seeking medical services.
However, the fund says it recognizes that thousands of users are yet to be enrolled on the biometric system.
“If members get sick before they are biometrically registered, the accredited hospitals will biometrically register them before seeking any services,” NHIF said in a statement.
“NHIF has empowered and equipped accredited hospitals to ensure that before members seek services they can be registered biometrically. The process will continue until everyone is registered.”
NHIF has also called on members to register with the biometric system before they are in need of health services. Registration can be done at NHIF offices, huduma centre, mass drives and in the health facilities.
“Members and their dependents can visit the nearest NHIF service points or contracted hospitals countrywide to be biometrically enrolled,” CEO Peter Kamunyo said.
If a principal member is in a different location from their dependants, the dependants can still visit the agency branches and Huduma centres for registration.
Disadvantaged members who have limbs or fingerprints missing can still register for biometric services and use a password.
NHIF covers about 25 million Kenyans. Members have been using their IDs and cards to access services at health facilities countrywide.
However, the fund says the old system was dogged with fraud as several people were found to be sharing their cards with non-members.
The fund says the new system will also speed up operations in the health facilities and reimbursement to the hospitals for services rendered.
The biometric system is already available in all hospitals, making it easy for members to register.