Kenya’s national insurance agency is preparing to phase out insurance cards in favor of fingerprint biometrics. Moving forward, members of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) will no longer be able to present an NHIF or national identity card, and will instead be expected to verify their identities with a fingerprint recognition scan.
The new system will go into effect on July 11, at which point members will need to have registered their biometric information in order to file claims and receive insurance coverage. Those interested can register their fingerprints at NHIF service centers, or at participating hospitals throughout Kenya.
According to the NHIF, the new biometric identification requirement will help cut down on insurance fraud, which was a problem under the old card-based system. The fingerprints are being introduced in conjunction with a new electronic claims system that will eliminate the need for manual claims processing as part of a broader digital transformation.
The NHIF itself currently has 8.9 million members, as well as an unspecified number of dependents. The organization is hoping that the new system will be more efficient than the old one, and reduce the amount of time needed to handle each individual claim.
GenKey previously supplied the NHIF with a biometric health card back in 2015. However, the latest announcement did not have any information about the NHIF’s technology provider for the new fingerprint authentication system. The government of Kenya has been trying to launch a national biometric identification program, though the country’s courts suspended the project in early 2020 to give lawmakers time to pass anti-discrimination legislation.
Source: Nairobi News
July 9, 2021 – by Eric Weiss