There are silent murmurs within the National Police Service and Kenya Prisons Service after the state medical insurer lost a bid to renew a contract to provide comprehensive medical cover.
Members covered feel the new insurers may not meet their demands and are wondering why there was a rush to remove the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) as the provider of the services.
“We smell something here to benefit a few unseen individuals at the expense of our lives,” said one senior official who asked not to be named.
The officers have employed a wait-and-see mode before they decide the way forward.
NHIF was brought on board by former interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaisery after a comprehensive discussion following complaints from police and prison officers they were suffering under private firms.
But NHIF on December 16 informed it had lost the tender to a consortium of private insurance firms.
The firms are led by CIC General Insurance Led (Leader of the Consortium), Old Mutual General Insurance Kenya Limited and Britam General Insurance Company (K) Limited.
This is a big loss for NHIF given the two agencies were seen as some of the biggest clients.
NPS Principal Administrative Secretary Bernice Lemedeket said NHIF quoted Sh9.3 billion whereas the winners quoted Sh8.6 billion and hence lost.
“We regret to inform you that your bid was unsuccessful for the reasons that it was not the lowest technically responsive bid in the financial evaluation,” she said.
NHIF has been offering the cover for almost eight years and insiders said it was fairly better.
Chief Executive Officer Dr. Peter Kamunyo wrote an internal memo on December 30 saying their contract for the provision of comprehensive medical cover to members of police and prisons will expire on Saturday, December 31 2022 since the client will be transitioning to another medical insurance cover provider.
“We should therefore ensure that NHIF’s liability for beneficiaries of the scheme in regard to enhanced medical scheme ends at midnight, 31s December 2022 after which all beneficiaries of the scheme should be transitioned to the National Health Scheme,” he said.
The government entered a contract for the provision of comprehensive cover for employees of the agencies through NHIF.
It covers up to five children or legally adopted children from zero to 21 years of age.
Children from 22 years to 25 years were covered if fully dependent on the principal member and enrolled in full-time post-secondary education.
Children or dependents with disability wholly dependent on or living with the principal member, registered with the National Council of Persons with Disability, shall not have an age limit.
The move was part of the state’s systematic efforts to institutionalize a welfare and protection program for the officers who have to contend with life-changing situations through the course of their duties.