Kenya is replacing insurance cards with fingerprint biometrics

Kenya’s national insurance agency is preparing to phase out insurance cards in favor of fingerprint biometrics. In the future, members of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) will no longer be able to present an NHIF or national identity card and will instead have to verify their identity with a fingerprint recognition scan.

The new system will take effect on July 11th. At this point, members must have their biometric information registered in order to file claims and receive insurance coverage. Those interested can have their fingerprints registered in NHIF service centers or in participating hospitals across Kenya.

According to NHIF, the new biometric identification requirement will help reduce insurance fraud that was a problem under the old card-based system. The fingerprints will be introduced in conjunction with a new electronic claims system that will eliminate the need for manual claims processing as part of a wider digital transformation.

The NHIF itself currently has 8.9 million members and an unspecified number of dependents. The company hopes that the new system will be more efficient than the old one and that it will reduce the time it takes to process each individual claim.

GenKey delivered a biometric health card to the NHIF back in 2015. However, the latest announcement did not provide any information about the NHIF’s technology provider for the new fingerprint authentication system. The Kenyan government has attempted to launch a national biometric identification program despite the country’s courts suspending the project in early 2020 to give lawmakers time to pass anti-discrimination laws.

Source: Nairobi News

July 9, 2021 – by Eric Weiss

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