Thursday, January 30, 2020

Best US College for International Students

A chance to study at an American university is a dream come true for most international students. However, there are so many choices to choose from that the process of selecting the best US college often leads to confusion. 

Before you commit to studying at an American college, there are a number of things you need to be clear about in your mind, these include; your passions, financial ability, and preferred location. It may sound like a cliché but if you are going to spend the next 3 to 4 years studying at an institution, then you had better have an interest in the course. Also, your financial ability narrows your range of options. You will also need to decide on a geographical location based on factors such as quality of life and cost of living.

Having considered these factors, I would recommend New York State University (NYU). NYU is, without a doubt, one of the best US Colleges for International students. Some of the reasons you may want to consider NYU include:

  • It is located in one of the most visited cities in the world.
  • It has the highest number of international students in the US.
  • There are no restrictions on the number of international students it can admit.
  • NYU considers scholarships and financial support for non-US students.
  • It is among the top 30 universities in the world and well regarded by employers.

If you would like more information on NYU, please leave a comment below or contact us.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

NHIF’s New Raft of Changes Causes Concern

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) announced major changes to its coverage terms for self-employed contributors. The National Health Insurance says the changes are necessitated by the need to position NHIF towards the achievement of universal health coverage as well as enhance members’ retention. But, the punitive measures introduced could work against the goal to retain members.

NHIF has termed this change as a “Member Management Review”. The intention, we think, is basically to manage its cash flows because they affect members’ contributions into the fund. Are these new regulations justified? What does this mean for Kenyans? What are we looking at? Let's quickly break down these regulations for you.

Waiting Period 

The first thing NHIF has done is to increase the waiting period for new members from 2 months to 3 months (90 days). Within this period of time, a member is expected to pay upfront for the one year cover, that is, pay Kshs 6,000 in premiums. This translates to about Kshs 2,000 per month instead of the Kshs 500 monthly for 12 months that members have been paying. There is also a 6-month waiting period for dependents disclosed following the initial registration, a 30 day waiting period for additional dependents and a 6-month waiting period for specialised services.

50% Penalty 

The second change in coverage is a 50% penalty for every month that one will have defaulted or not paid the premium. For example, if you default for one month, you will need to pay an additional Kshs 250 bringing your total to Kshs 750. This is for a maximum of 11 months for each month in default. If one defaults for over 12 months, then you're considered a new member and must start afresh. This means you must go through the three month waiting period.

Maternity Access 

Maternity access will have a 6-month waiting period and new births must now be declared within 6 months. If a member defaults, maternity access is now restricted to six months after the card matures.

Maximum Dependents 

The NHIF has also limited the dependents to a single spouse and five children. This will make it more expensive polygamous families across the country, to access medical treatment.

Exempt Schemes 

However, there are specific programs run by the NHIF that are exempt from these changes, these are; Inua Jamii program, elderly persons with a disability, Linda Mama, and the Health Insurance Subsidy.


Are these changes likely to have more people retained within the scheme? The answer is probably not because low and middle-income Kenyans are not used to paying for medical insurance. Most people only take action when they fall ill. And, almost 50% of the population lives under a dollar a day so to ask people to pay the annual premium of Kshs 6,000 in three months is a tall order. With these changes, the government is unlikely to meet its stated goal of universal health care for all Kenyans.

It is yet to be seen whether these changes will remain given that the National Assembly's Health Committee has already written to the NHIF Board demanding that the rules be suspended until the Board meets parliamentarians.

Friday, January 3, 2020

How to Get a Free Uber or Bolt Ride in Nairobi

Uber, Bolt (formerly Taxify) and other ride-hailing taxi applications have revolutionized transport in Nairobi and other locations in the country. If you haven't gotten onto the bandwagon, you should. If it is your first time to use a taxi-hailing application, you can get a free ride but using the method outlined below. If you are already using Uber or Bolt, you can also get a free ride by following the instructions below.

On Uber

New User

Existing User

  • Buy a new sim card. 
  • Install the app and use a different name, for example, you can vary your names. "Bob Mary" instead of "Mary Bob".
  • Once the app has finished installing, add this promo code to get a free ride "kiharakue".

On Bolt

New User

Existing User

  • Buy a new sim card. 
  • Install the app and use a different name, for example, you can vary your names. "Bob Mary" instead of "Mary Bob".
  • Once the app has finished installing, add this promo code to get a free ride "B8TBCA".
Try it out and let us know in the comments if it worked for you.