How to Check NHIF Status Online, Pay NHIF via M-Pesa

Hello. NHIF is a simple entity to understand, yet besides how to check NHIF account status online and how to pay NHIF via M-Pesa, there are very many other questions Kenyans are asking.

Count yourself lucky today because we are gonna demystify most of these questions and get a comprehensive understanding of NHIF. Use the table of contents below to navigate to the question that is bugging you the most but let’s first dive into the most basic stuff.

What is NHIF?

NHIF, National Hospital Insurance Fund is a government corporation mandated to provide health insurance cover to Kenyan citizens over the age of 18.

In simple terms, the NHIF ensures that a Kenyan citizen is covered or prevented from financial loss or burden in case of an illness or medical condition.

For instance, in case of an accident, when you seek treatment in an NHIF supporting hospital, the cost of services and medicine is significantly reduced if you have an NHIF cover.

Children under the age of 18 can be covered by their parents’ or guardians’ NHIF Cards.

What are the benefits of NHIF?

NHIF provides many benefits such as

  • In-patient cover: All charges accrued when a patient is residing in the hospital. Such include bed charges, nursing care, diagnostic, laboratory or other medically necessary facilities and services, etc.
  • Out-patient cover: Consultation, Laboratory investigations, Drug administration and dispensing, Dental health care services, Radiological examination, Nursing and midwifery services, etc
  • Maternity cover and Reproductive Health: Self-explanatory
  • Ex-Gratia Payments: Moral obligation payments rather than legal requirements
  • Life Cover: Death benefit payments
  • Last Expense Cover: Funeral Costs
  • Dental Care: dental consultation, orthodontics, root canal, dentures, Cost of filling, X-rays, and Extractions
  • Optical Care
  • Test for Organ Donors: Costs for the kidney donor identification up to a maximum of two
  • Annual Medical checkups in Body mass index, Full Haemogram, Cholesterol, Blood sugar, Gamma GT, Urinalysis, PSA(Prostate-Specific Antigen for Men above 40), Pap smear for all women, Mammogram
  • Vaccinations: KEPI vaccines, Rotavirus vaccine, Anti – rabies, Anti –Snake venom and yellow fever vaccine
  • Emergency Treatment
  • Overseas Treatment for medical conditions that cannot be treated in Kenya.
  • Dialysis at only Ksh 2,500 per session

What NHIF does not cover?

  • Cosmetic treatment and surgery
  • Massage except when necessary for physiotherapy
  • Treatment from non-accredited hospitals
  • Treatment by chiropractors, acupuncturists, herbalists and related establishments
  • Obesity investigations treatment and surgeries
  • Claims for members outside the country for more than 6 weeks preceding the hospital visit.
  • Charges recoverable under any Work Injury Benefits Act (WIBA) or any other medical plans
  • Patients who seek treatment at private hospitals will not get NHIF outpatient covers for chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and hypertension.

How do I register for NHIF?

According to the law, all adults (anybody 18 and above) whose total income is above Ksh 1000 per month is required to contribute to the NHIF fund.

There are 4 means of NHIF registration

  • Dial *155# and follow Procedure. Easiest
  • Register online at the NHIF Register Online page. Effective
  • Visit any NHIF Branch or Huduma Centre. Hard
  • Download the NHIF App and Register an account. (Unreliable)

To register online, follow this procedure

  1. Access NHIF Register Online page using a computer
  2. Depending on your position click either Employer, Employee, or Self-Employed buttons.
  3. Choose your identification type; Kenyan or alien identity card
  4. Fill in the form in the following fields
  5. Attach a Scanned Copy of Your ID and passport photo
  6. If married, attach Your Marriage Certificate.
  7. Click Save to apply.
  8. An SMS will be sent to your phone number showing your application status.

How long does it take to activate NHIF card?

Your NHIF card is active after two months from the date of registration. Also, if you have defaulted in payment your NHIF card will only be reactivated under two conditions:

  • If you pay the principal amount and then wait for sixty days before you can resume using the service.
  • Or pay the arrears plus penalties and be activated on the spot.
Activate NHIF card
Reactivating your NHIF card

How to pay NHIF via M-Pesa?

As a self-employed or retired person, you are required to pay your NHIF monthly or yearly while for government-employed persons, your NHIF contributions are automatically deducted from your salaries periodically.

Normally the NHIF monthly contribution amount is Ksh 500 per month or Ksh 6000 annually.

M-Pesa is the easiest means to keep up with your NHIF payments. Here is the procedure.

  • Access M-Pesa menu
  • Go to Lipa na M-PESA.
  • Choose Pay Bill
  • Enter Business no (200222).
  • For Account number enter contributor’s National ID Number.
  • Enter amount (KES 500.00 per month)
  • Enter your M-Pesa Pin
  • Confirm details and press OK

You will receive a confirmation SMS from MPESA immediately. The payment will take 2 to 3 days to reflect.

If you don’t have M-Pesa, you can pay your contributions by visiting any of the following banks and depositing money in NHIF accounts

  • Equity Bank
  • KCB Bank
  • National Bank
  • Co-operative Bank of Kenya

If can also pay your NHIF contributions using Airtel Money and Equitel Money. 

How to pay for NHIF using Airtel Money?

  • Access Airtel Money
  • Select make payments from the menu
  • Go to Paybill
  • Enter NHIF pay bill number 823263
  • Enter amount (At least Ksh 500)
  • Enter your PIN
  • Enter ID number as the reference
  • Click send and wait for a confirmation message

In case you fail to pay your monthly contributions before date 9 each month, you will be penalized Ksh 250 for each month of non-payment. This tops up your monthly contribution.

Also, you cannot receive NHIF cover services while your monthly payments are not at par. So how do you clear the NHIF penalty?

How to pay NHIF penalty via M-Pesa?

  • Access M-Pesa menu
  • Go to Lipa na M-PESA.
  • Choose Pay Bill
  • Enter Business no (200222).
  • For account number, enter your national ID number then add the letter “y” at the end. For example 12345678y
  • Enter Ksh 250 for every month you have defaulted.
  • Enter your M-Pesa PIN
  • Confirm details and press OK

You will receive a confirmation SMS from MPESA immediately.

If you fail to pay your NHIF contributions for 12 months, your card will be deactivated. Following this, you will have to reactivate your account.

How can I reactivate my NHIF account?

  • Access M-Pesa menu
  • Go to Lipa na M-PESA.
  • Choose Pay Bill
  • Enter Business no (200222).
  • Enter your National ID as the Account number
  • Enter Ksh 1500
  • Enter your M-Pesa PIN
  • Confirm details and press OK

Your account will be reactivated but you will have to pay your arrears, penalties and wait for two months before you can receive any NHIF cover services.

Over the past couple of years, NHIF has undergone several changes and review of its operation to make it easier for Kenyans to have access to its services seamlessly. One major question most NHIF clients ask is how to know their NHIF statuses and payments:

  • Using your Phone
  • Online
  • Via Email

Well there are several ways to do this and we’re gonna look at each of them individually

How to check NHIF status and payments on your phone?

  • Go to Messages
  • Compose a new SMS
  • Type the letters “ID”, space, then your ID number (or passport number if applicable). For example ID 12345678
  • Send to 21101

This service will cost you Ksh 10, so be sure to have enough airtime.

You will get a reply with the name of your employer and the last month you paid.

How to check NHIF account status online?

Today it’s very easy to check your NHIF status online due to the easy to use portal created by NHIF. This procedure only works for those that have already registered an account for NHIF with their ID number, valid email, and a working phone number.

If not, scroll up to check the process of registering an account with NHIF

Checking your NHIF status online using the self-service portal is the most effective means of checking all your NHIF information.

Steps to check NHIF account status online
Steps to check NHIF account status online

You can know how much you owe in the form of arrears and penalties if you’re currently eligible for cover among other things. So here is the process.

  • Access the NHIF Self-Care Portal.
  • Input your ID number
  • You will receive an SMS with your OTP (One Time Password) in your registered phone number. This password is only valid for 24 hours.
  • Input your OTP and click Verify
  • Be patient while your portal logs in. This process normally takes a minute or two depending on your internet connection speed.
  • Once you’re in the NHIF self-service portal, click on Status on the left side menu.

Your current NHIF status will be displayed including the number of dependents under you, penalties, arrears, and the last date of contribution.

How to check NHIF account status via Email?

You can request for an NHIF status update by sending an email to This process may take some time since it requires a human respondent to offer the service.

A statement in PDF form will be sent within several hours or even days.

Can I use my NHIF Card in any hospital?

No, NHIF cards only apply in public hospitals and NHIF approved hospitals. NHIF has a listing for all approved hospitals in the country. You can access this list and check the hospitals within your locality depending on the type of service you require as below:

Click on any of the links then select your region and county to check for NHIF approved hospitals in your area.

What are the NHIF Rates for Employed and Self-employed citizens?

While self-employed citizens are required to pay a minimum of Ksh 500 per month for NHIF cover, employed citizens have their salaries subject to NHIF deductions as follows

  • Ksh. 0 to Ksh. 5,999 – Ksh. 150
  • Ksh. 6,000 to Ksh. 7,999 – Ksh. 300
  • Ksh. 8,000 to Ksh. 11,999 – Ksh. 400
  • Ksh. 12,000 to Ksh. 14,999 – Ksh. 500
  • Ksh. 15,000 to Ksh. 19,999 – Ksh. 600
  • Ksh. 20,000 to Ksh. 24,999 – Ksh. 750
  • Ksh. 25,000 to Ksh. 29,999 – Ksh. 850
  • Ksh. 30,000 to Ksh. 34,999 – Ksh. 900
  • Ksh. 35,000 to Ksh. 39,000 – Ksh. 950
  • Ksh. 40,000 to Ksh. 44,999 – Ksh. 1,000
  • Ksh. 45,000 to Ksh. 49,000 – Ksh. 1,100
  • Ksh. 50,000 to Ksh. 59,999 – Ksh. 1,200
  • Ksh. 60,000 to Ksh. 69,999 – Ksh. 1,300
  • Ksh. 70,000 to Ksh. 79,999 – Ksh. 1,400
  • Ksh. 80,000 to Ksh. 89,999 – Ksh. 1,500
  • Ksh. 90,000 to Ksh. 99,999 – Ksh. 1,600
  • Ksh. 100,000 and above – Ksh. 1,700

For any additional question, just ask in the comments section and we’ll get down on it.


    • Hey Mohamed, I’m not sure how long it takes because I have never used any bank to pay for NHIF. However, it normally depends on the bank. Some take a day, others can take more than 5 days. If your payment does not reflect in a week, you need to follow up with both the NHIF and the Bank you used.


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