Since Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, more and more services are now being made accessible online by various private companies and government institutions in Kenya. This is a review of National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) online services based on my personal experience as a user.
NHIF is a state parastatal that was established in the year 1966 as a department under the ministry of health. NHIF’s mission is to contribute towards universal health coverage in the provision of affordable, accessible, sustainable and quality health insurance through strategic resource pooling and healthcare purchasing in collaboration with stakeholders.
In this blogpost, I will reviewing the NHIF online portal. I will cover the pros and and cons of using the portal.
Entering The Portal
Anyone can access NHIF website on http://www.nhif.or.ke. Like any other site, this address will take you to the landing page. Here, you will be able to learn more about the services they offer from various links and menu items. On top, you can see their contact information as well as links to their social media pages.
One downside that is quickly noticeable on the site is it’s security. To the left of the website URL on your browser, you will see that the site is not secure. According google chrome, this warning means, the site isn’t using a private connection. Someone might be able to see or change the information you send or get through this site.
These is something that developers should look into. Also, still on the landing page, if you type the URL www.nhif.or.ke on your phone, it will not load. Instead, it will take you this error page here. Its a very sensitive issue with redirection which can be easily fixed.
This are two areas the developers should look into in order to ensure that trust and security of the users in guaranteed.
Take control of your Private Data. READ Don’t sign up everywhere with your e-mail or phone
NHIF Services You Can Access Online
This is a service for existing registered members. When you click on it, you will be taken to this page where you are required to Enter your National ID Number to get One Time Password via SMS to Your Registered Phone Number. Enter the OTP and click verify.
When Verified, you will be taken to your user dashboard. Here you can view your registration details as well as your contribution status. If you haven’t been paying your monthly contributions, the status will show ‘not covered.’
The only change you can make here is on your outpatient Facility. Just click on change outpatient facility.
NOTE: If the phone number you registered with NHIF is different from the one you currently use, you will not get the OTP SMS. This means that you cannot login. Please contact NHIF support for assistance to update your contact information.
You can review the status of your payment as well as check your outpatient facility. As you can see, this is service quite straight forward and serves the purpose.
One improvement that can be made on this specific product is enabling users to update their profile photo. Currently, you can’t update your profile photo online unless you visit NHIF offices and seek assistance.
New users can apply to register as members using the online registration link found on the NHIF homepage. When you click on it, you will be taken to this page here. Here, you can register as an employer, employee or self employed.
Employers – They are required to fill in their company registration details. This includes company name and registration number, Kenya Revenue Authority PIN, Address, business sector and more. Also, one is required to attach their company registration certificate and KRA Pin before submitting.
Employees – The details required for employees are different. Apart from their personal details, one is required to enter their employer code and name besides attaching their national ID and a passport size photo.
Lastly, for the self employed, they are only required to share their personal details and address.
This is for employers with payroll schedule. When you click on it, you will be taken to this page here. Rather than sending a hard copy documents or email of employers monthly payroll byproducts to NHIF, employers can just register and upload it once they login. Here new users will find instructions on how to do it.
This is a link to blank application form. It’s probably meant for use by people registering manually. They can download the registration forms here. These forms are categorized as customer and client forms.
Under hospitals listings, you can see a listing of different hospitals under the NHIF cover. There are four categories namely inpatient, outpatient, civil servants and Linda Mama.
When you click any of the links, you will taken to a page with names of the hospitals per county under the category you chose e.g inpatient.
This service is available only to authorized officers of hospitals registered with the NHIF. To access this service you must have a valid user account (login name) and password.
As you might have noticed, you can do most of things on the NHIF portal online.
However, it’s important to note the few things that can be improved to make the portal more trustworthy and secure.
The first one is employing Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (https) on all user links that require users to enter sensitive information. So far, only self care portal has https. The rest of the links don’t.
Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, inside NHIF self care portal, allow users to upload their passport size photo via their user dashboard without having to visit NHIF offices.
And that’s my review on the NHIF online Portal.
Have you tried using NHIF online portal lately? What challenges did you find? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Until next time, bye bye and take care. Follow me on twitter @cheptiony.