Kenya’s new social health insurance bill: What, why, and how?
25 September 2023
One month ago, the Government of Kenya released four new health bills to accelerate progress towards the goal of universal health coverage. If passed, the bills will set in motion far-reaching reforms to how health services are financed and delivered in Kenya. Among these bills is the Social Health Insurance Bill, which proposes extending health insurance to all Kenyans based on member contributions, with government-subsidized coverage for the poor. It also mandates the creation of three funds to cover different types of services and a new government agency to manage it all.
To unpack what the Social Health Insurance Bill aims to do, why, and how, ThinkWell hosted a Counterpoint webinar with the bill’s primary architects, county stakeholders, as well as leading health financing experts on October 3, 2023.
Click the button below to watch the webinar recording on our YouTube channel.
Counterpoint is ThinkWell’s signature series of webinars, which offers a platform for free and frank debate about questions related to health system strengthening. In this edition, ThinkWell’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Dr. Anne Musuva, hosted a discussion about Kenya’s new Social Health Insurance Bill featuring four panelists:
- Dr. Elizabeth Wangia, Director, Healthcare Financing, Kenya Ministry of Health
- Dr. Daniel Mwai, President’s Advisor on Health and Standards, Office of the President, Kenya
- Mr. Felix Murira, Country Program Manager, ThinkWell Kenya
- Dr. Joy Mugambi, County Director of Health Administration and Planning, Nakuru County, Kenya
Some of the questions the panel explored include the following:
- What overarching objectives is the Social Health Insurance Bill trying to achieve?
- What drove the specific design choices (e.g., three separate funds, means-testing for everyone not employed in the formal sector, and a new health authority)?
- How do the reforms envisioned by this bill align with the service delivery reforms set out in the other bills, especially the reorganization of all primary and secondary care facilities into networks?
- What is the role of counties in implementing these reforms?
- What are the biggest hurdles we can expect on the way to implementing the bill successfully?
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