A Twitter user W_AsheraH wrote a long thread on the hypocrisy of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) that saw Kenyans talk about the corruption in the sector and how things should be done.
She lamented that her mother was facing a surgery that was costed at Sh500,000 and yet the health insurer had only approved Sh15k with Minet expected to pay only Ksh. 200,000.
After a great social media commotion, Minet finally agreed to sort out the ailing teacher in what many social media users interpreted as a way of cooling her down or avoding further queries on the controversial medical scheme they provide to teachers.
“Minet has reached out in DM – Waiting to hear what they say about covering the rest. This is pre-approvals – people seem to be missing that part of the tweet. But remember not every Kenyan can go to Twitter, scream about it and garner attention. Kenya should work for everyone” Posted the user on Twitter wondering why she only got help after screaming on social media.
In November 2020, The Senate said it was investigating AON Minet insurance company over claims of humiliating teachers covered under its medical insurance scheme.
A statement sought in the Senate by nominated Senator Rose Nyamunga highlighted the difficulties teachers under the insurance provider scheme have to undergo while seeking medical treatment even as she urged the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), the teachers’ employer, to rise up and give the teachers hope.
The cover cost TSC is Sh9 billion in 2019, Sh12 billion in 2020 and Sh14 billion in 2021.
Senate had sought to interrogate several individuals from TSC, KNUT and Minet CEO Sammy Muthui.
Ms Nyamunga while raising the matter in the Senate on September 30, 2020, claimed that there was very low capitation on outpatient services with some teachers capped at as low as Sh900, which is inclusive of doctors’ consultations, tests and drugs.
“The teachers of this country are a frustrated lot and they feel their lives are potentially endangered by the poor services being offered under the AON Minet Kenya medical insurance cover,” Ms Nyamunga lamented.
The nominated Senator had then noted that concerns of substandard services offered by AON Minet are serious and that there is a need for the TSC to ensure that teachers’ need for quality healthcare is treated with the importance it deserves.
“The decision to introduce a medical cover for teachers was very good because it was a step in the right direction. However, there appears to be glaring gaps and challenges that must be addressed by the employer immediately,” she said
Despite having to undergo double significant deductions on their payslips both for National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and AON MINET, there are no commensurate services, she said.
Article 43 (1) (a) of the Constitution provides that every person has a right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to healthcare services.
But according to Ms Nyamunga, the Kenyan teachers are reporting that the services offered by AON Minet are, not only poor in terms of quality but also too restrictive to benefit them.
“There are restrictions on the hospitals they are allowed to visit for treatment, some of which are ill-equipped and lack qualified personnel,” the nominated Senators had revealed.
There are always delays in approval, which sometimes can take up to one month putting the life of a teacher at risk a matter confirmed by a spot check on social media where complaints about poor services by Minet are very many.
This is really absurd, considering that at times the life of a teacher might be at stake. It beats logic why they cannot get the best of health services available considering the role they play in shaping the future generation of this country,
Teachers also face challenges while lodging claims with AON Minet and there is limited access due to rigid operating hours in some health facilities.
On dental services, only tooth extraction is catered for by AON Minet while other essential services like cleaning, refilling, root canal treatment and tooth replacement or dentures are not covered.
There have also been instances where hospitals have turned away teachers insured by AON Minet because of the challenges they face while lodging claims with the company.
TSC has always evaded responding to these issues.