Employers will face fines running into millions for various infractions should the Social Health Insurance Bill proposed by President William Ruto’s administration sail through.
The Bill, tabled in Parliament by National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah, proposes a Ksh1 million fine for employers who do not remit their employees’ contributions to the Fund on time.
Employers who excessively deduct from their employees’ salaries, will also be subject to a Ksh1 million fine.
What’s more, employers could potentially face imprisonment for up to 3 years if they are convicted of offenses related to mishandling their employees’ deductions.
National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah addresses a crowd during an event in Kirinyaga County on March 18, 2023.
On the other hand, Kenyans who impersonate others to receive monetary benefits will be fined Ksh1 million or face 1 year in prison.
“For the purpose of obtaining any benefit for himself or herself or for any other person knowingly makes any false statement or representation, or produces or furnishes, or causes to be produced or furnished, any document or information which he or she knows to be false in any material particular commits an offence,” the Bill proposes.
Apart from employers, hospitals will also face substantial fines for offenses like falsifying claims to increase their reimbursement from the fund.
The Bill proposes a Ksh500,000 fine for instances where health facilities manipulate documents to obtain payments from the Fund.
Moreover, the penalties may include suspension from and removal from the Fund’s programs.
Conversely, Kenyans who engage in identity impersonation to receive financial benefits will be subject to a Ksh1 million fine or a one-year jail term as an alternative.
With regard to the mismanagement of funds collected from Kenyans, government officials convicted of misappropriation face hefty fines amounting to Ksh10 million.
“A person who misappropriates any of the funds or assets of the Fund, or assists or causes any person to misappropriate or apply funds, otherwise than in the manner provided in the Act, commits an offence and shall upon conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not exceeding Ksh10 or to both,” read the Bill in part.
The bill, which aims to reform the health sector, is now in its second reading stage and is slated for debate in the forthcoming days as MPs put forth proposed amendments to it.
Members of the 13th Parliament during President William Ruto’s inaugural speech on September 29, 2022.
The National Assembly