Small Mercies

Recently, a friend needed to be bailed out of hospital because of an issue with payment. What had happened was their insurer (Britam through Linda Jamii) had elected, for whatever reason, not to pay the entirety of the bill. Instead, Britam would pay the bill less NHIF’s amount. This is why I needed to  bail them out: their NHIF payments were not up to date.

Being poor is expensive because you’ll probably have to pay for a host of things out of pocket that would be covered by one’s insurance. Sadly, even when a person without means has been paying their premiums, they can easily find themselves in my friend’s position: falling through the cracks.

The last week or so, I have had a situation that I needed to see a GP for. I have also nursed an unhealthy dislike for visits to doctors for a while, a situation fuelled by my pecuniary circumstances. During that time, however, I have continued to pay for NHIF.

As I bailed out my friend, they urged me to check my NHIF status* (send ‘ID xxx’ where xxx is your ID number to 21101) lest the same fate should befall me. I was current and my friend took the chance to tell me I could use my cover for outpatient services, too.

So it is that one’s situation may soon be fixed at no great cost thanks to these things: friendship, the habit of paying for certain things and the bitter-sweet knowledge that not all poverties are equal.

*This is not a sponsored post.

Note: This post is part of #CuminWrites366, my year-long attempt to write a post a day. Find the rest over at

Questions, comments, suggestions or health insurance tips? Send them to 🙂




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