Kenya: 51% of the Population Not Listed in Health Insurance Schemes - Study

23 September 2019

Nairobi — A study commissioned by People's Health Movement Kenya (PHM-Kenya) now indicates that up to 51 per cent of Kenyans do not have medical insurance.

The study was conducted by Infotrak Research and Consulting between September 10 to 14.

The survey findings released by Infotrak Chief Executive Officer Angela Ambitho on Monday shows that 51 per cent of Kenyans don't own a medical insurance cover while 49 per cent have some sort of cover.

This means, majority of Kenyans dig into their pockets to pay for health services.

According to the research, National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) was singled out as the medical cover with the widest coverage at 89 per cent.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) card is held by about 8 per cent of Kenyans while 5 per cent have personal health cover.

Another 5 per cent have employer-provided medical covers. County government medical covers' penetration was reported at 1 per cent.

Four in ten Kenyans in the Universal Health Coverage pilot counties have registered for a UHC card translating to 42 per cent.

Notably, UHC registration is highest among those aged between 56 to 65.

Most Kenyan households were found to have spent at least Sh10,000 annually to cater for healthservices.

The surveyors went ahead to interview respondents on the provision of healthcare services.

From the findings, only 28 per cent of Kenyans feel that healthcare provision by both national and county governments is good.

40 per cent of Kenyans feel healthcare is poor while 32 per cent rated it at average.

The research established that Kenyans are aware that health is a devolved function, and therefore a responsibility of county governments, and in addition county governments should bear the responsibility for payment of healthcare services.

Poor medical services have been cited as the main reason for not accessing health services from health facilities by most Kenyans, followed by inadequate healthcare facilities.

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