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How to Add Dependents to Your NHIF


Hey people, hope you good. So two weeks ago, I decided, after years of procrastination, to add my family members to my NHIF. I just woke up and decided today is it. I’m gonna get this done, no matter what. Today today today.

The nearest NHIF office to me is the headquarters over there at Community. Now, I didn’t want to go in the morning hours because I figured there would be long queues because many people prefer getting things done in the morning hours. So I went at about 3.50pm and thankfully, there were only three people ahead of me 🙂

But first let me take you back a little bit. About two months ago, I’d emailed NHIF customer care asking about the documents I needed for me to add my dependents. I didn’t want to go to their offices, then queue for long, only to be told that I didn’t have this or that document meaning I’d have to go back another day. And I also didn’t want to send someone to run this errand for me because there are some tasks that I’d rather handle myself.

The Documents you Need to Add Dependents

So, I wanted to add my husband and two children as my dependents. The NHIF customer care had informed me that I needed the following documents:

  • Copy of my marriage certificate or a sworn affidavit from the Magistrate
  • Copies of birth certificates for each of my children. Or birth notification if the child is aged six months and below.
  • One colored passport size photo for each of the dependents
  • Copy of my ID
  • They didn’t say I needed my husband’s ID copy, but I carried it just in case.

The Process

So when I got to NHIF –I went to the Car Park building and straight to their Customer Care section. When my turn arrived, the lady at the counter asked if I had the necessary documents. With a very broad smile on my face, I said yes.

Then she asked again – “uko na documents zote kabisa?”

I replied: “Niko na zote zote zote kabisa”, this time with an even wider grin. I felt like a conqueror I tell you. I almost started rubbing my hands together in glee. As in I can’t tell you the happiness I was feeling just knowing that I had all the said documents 🙂

The lady then instructed me to fill a certain form, then take it to counter number 15.

A section of the form that I filled out.

Haya, so I filled the form, attached my dependents photos with some glue that they provide, then proceeded to counter number 15. At that counter I found six people ahead of me. I passed the time staring at one or two people, observing others and just trying to understand human behaviour 🙂

When my turn arrived, the guy at the counter took time going through my forms, checking and counterchecking, punching things into the computer, then checking my documents again. Then he told me:

“Madam itabidi ulete affidavit”.

Haiya! Affidavit tena? I told him that the photocopy of my marriage certificate was right there in his hands, so affidavit how now?

Then he said “oooohhhhh sikua nimeiona madam, pole.”

We both laughed, as I told him no worries.

He then told me my NHIF status will be updated with my dependents. Then he looked like he’d finished with me.

So I asked him: “That’s it?”

He replied: “Yes, that’s it.”

Then I repeated: “As in, niende sasa?”

He said: “Eeee madam tumemalizana.”

Oh cool! I was done at like 4.21pm. I walked out of the NHIF offices happily.

A week later I wrote again to customer care asking them if my dependents had been added, and they responded in the affirmative. So yeah, in a nutshell, that’s it. It’s certainly not a difficult process, just make sure you have all those documents that are needed and you’re good.

Next, you can read about how to pay NHIF contributions though MPESA here: How to Pay NHIF via Mpesa.

You may also like to watch Evalyne Gatheca’s inspiring story below:

I also got myself this 13-paged information pack that has details on other NHIF stuff.

Mummy Tales is an organization dedicated to empowering its readers on different aspects of womanhood and motherhood. Read more motherhood experiences of Kenyan moms here. Connect with Mummy Tales on: FACEBOOK l YOU TUBEINSTAGRAM l TWITTER 



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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


  1. I wanted to add my husband as my dependent but those guys walinizungusha sana. I went with a copy of the marriage certificate and they told me to go with the original. I was so frustrated nikaachana nayo.

    • Hi Jemimah, pole about your experience but surely, why did they ask for the original certificate yawa. But just gather your strength again and just return because this time around you’re sure about the documents that are needed and stand firm by that, even ask to see the Manager if they’re still zungushaing you. All the best.

  2. Quick one… I have one process left.. I got an affidavit from commissioner of oaths and they said they needed another one from Magistrates court. could you have any idea how much and the process of getting one from magistrates court.. We have paid and everything but this is what is barring me from getting in as a spouse..

  3. Always carry along the originals of all the documents you attach to your nhif form as you might be asked for them to clarify something.

    The contributors are no longer getting 4 visits a year, please go to the nearest office and select a facility for out patient services. If you had previously selected, it would be prudent to confirm. This has been confirmed.

    • Hi Everlyne, thanks for the info. But please clarify – didn’t NHIF recently say we could now visit any health facility for outpatient services, as in we no longer need to select a facility? Do you have an official statement in regards to your comment? Please share it if you do.

  4. I still don’t understand why Nhif came up with the limit idea especially to patients with cancer. How they limit them as in they don’t pay for the full chemo n radio sessions. I. E wanalipa like only 4 chemo sessions na pengine mgonjwa atafanyiwa chemo 12sessions which costs above 20k after every 2 or3 weeks.. For those patients who can not afford that where n wat do you expect them to do after mmelipa chemo manusu… Feeling concerned n this must be revisited soon… Patients hupigwa na shock after amepata nhif card can’t pay anymore

  5. I went to a certain Nhif office to add my daughter,all documents needed I produced they gave me a form I filled in correctly. After one week my daughter was admitted in a hospital and I went to check whether she is among in my card I didn’t found her in the list. My worries is how should it take for a child to be in his father’s card or mother’s card?

    • Hi Wisely, for your wife you need a marriage certificate or affidavit. For children I have shared the details in the article. You also cannot add dependents online – you must visit an NHIF branch. Get in touch with NHIF through customercare@nhif.or.ke for more info.

  6. Comment:what if my husband is deceased and we didn’t have a marriage certificate but I want to register my kids

  7. I want to add my dependants-my wife and children but i have no legal document of marriage.what shall i do?

  8. I had earlier filled the documents to add spouse as dependant,how long does it take to effect the benefits…..i went with her only to be told she is not included in the cover

    • Hi Benjamin, for a spouse it takes 28 days. For a child it’s immediate. You may get in touch with NHIF for more details.

  9. Hi, am Irene , I would like to know if I can apply my individual nhif yet am a college student, my parents are not registered with NHIF..kindly let me know if I can.

  10. How do I get my nephew and niece covered?can they fall in my list of dependants as their gurdian?If not what are the procedures plz?

  11. Hi, I want to add my son who is about a 16 months old, hio picha/photo, should it be taken professionally? Isn’t a birth certificate is enough.

  12. Affidavit is only from magistrate or even at chief’s office near me? Please advice!!! Thank you in advance.

  13. Hi, is it possible to register my sister’s brothers and even parents to my NHIF cover? If possible what are the required documents?


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