The Interior ministry has threatened to stop its NHIF subscription because a Sh200 million refund has been withheld.
Interior PS Karanja Kibicho on Monday told the Public Accounts Committee his ministry is considering withholding subscriptions to recover the millions held by the National Hospital Insurance Fund.
The money was an excess payment on the National Police Service comprehensive medical cover. It was to be refunded if not used.
Under the two-year 2017-19 contract, the ministry paid Sh4.7 billion to NHIF for the comprehensive medical cover.
Included in the deal was an excess amount of Sh200 million to cushion members who might have exhausted their coverage. The amount was to be refunded at the end of the contract if no one exceeded their limit during the period.
Auditor General Nancy Gathungu in her 2017-18 audit report said there was no evidence of any employee exceeding the limit, hence, the money should have been refunded.
“The tender was awarded to the National Hospital Insurance Fund on September 26, 2017, at a contract sum of Sh785,805,560,” Gathungu said in her report.
“This amount was refundable at the end of the contract but was not refunded when the contract came to an end. Consequently, it was not possible to determine whether the National Police Service got value for money from the amount of Sh200,000,000 that was due for refund at the end of the comprehensive medical cover contract,” the report read.
Appearing before the oversight committee chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, the PS threatened to withhold all subscription to the national health insurer until it refunds the money.
He told MPs NHIF has remained adamant in its refusal, despite their numerous communications requesting the refund.
The PS said the ministry will have no option but to withhold some subscriptions until they get a persuasive explanation on the refund.
“The NHIF has completely refused to respond to our inquiries. We will withhold our obligations to them until they respond. This money was supposed to be refunded, or let them show us that there are people who went beyond their limits,” Kibicho said.
He called for Parliament’s intervention to help the ministry recover Sh143 million held by KRA for security services provided from January 2016 to October 2019.
(Edited by V Graham)