President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Ministry of Health to halt implementation of new NHIF rules recently announced by the Fund.
The president said the move will allow for further consultations following the public uproar.
The president said his decision was based on his administration’s commitment to provide affordable healthcare to Kenyans.
The proposal by NHIF had recommended that users will have to pay an upfront one-year subscription at registration.
NHIF also had imposed new regulations with punitive measures to deter defaulting in monthly contributions.
In addition to other recommendations, the new rules would require members joining the fund to wait for 90 days before accessing services or benefits.
Last week, the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU), through its deputy secretary general Benson Okwaro, demanded that the regulations be reversed terming them retrogressive and punitive.
The umbrella union raised concerns the new rules were likely to lock out over 10 million workers from the health cover scheme and discourage people from joining it.