Medical aid schemes have announced that the premiums paid by members are set to increase in 2019.
Talk Radio 702’s Xolani Gwala spoke to Paresh Prema, general manager of the benefits unit at Council for Medical Schemes, about what medical schemes consider reasons for increasing the premiums.
Prema says the responsibility of the council is to look at the suggestions put forward by the medical schemes and approve them before they can be implemented.
“So what you have seen, it is actually the submissions that they have made to us for the increases for next year.
“We look at the different elements that make up a contribution. The most important element is the claims and services that are paid for by medical schemes and how much it will be going up by in the next year.”
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Since 1994 South Africa has invested substantial resources in healthcare services. As a result, it’s has made significant health gains. For example, nearly 4-million people get HIV treatment and mother-to-child transmission has nearly been eliminated.
Service delivery has also been significantly expanded to more than 4000 health facilities. And there’s been a large increase in the number of healthcare professionals.
But health care needs aren’t static. For example, non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension are now responsible for more deaths than HIV and TB combined. And in some instances successes have created challenges. For example, the expansion of HIV treatment has meant that there’s now a large cohort of chronic patients requiring ongoing care. In addition, the reality of a largely youthful population requires interventions so that health gains aren’t lost.
The government’s plan to ditch medical aid tax credits will have a disastrous effect on already cash-strapped South Africans and force nearly 2 million people onto the over-stretched state health system.
If the tax credit is removed, 22% of medical aid users will not be able to afford cover, Stellenbosch economics consultancy Econex warned in a report published on Friday – 1.9 million of the 8 million medical aid members, including children, will have to drop out of the private healthcare system.
In a national health insurance policy document released in July, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said he wanted to remove the tax credit to users, which amounts to R20-billion a year.
Medical aid schemes’ members get a tax reduction of R3,636 a year – or R303 a month. Motsoaledi said then that “the tax credit … we believe, is unfair”.
Economist Paula Armstrong, author of the Econex analysis, said the rebate was intended to “alleviate some pressure on the state [ Continue reading…
After a four and a half year probe initiated by South Africa’s Competition Commission, a panel of independent experts released their preliminary report into the country’s private healthcare market.
The Conversation Africa spoke to Sharon Fonn, who was on the panel of experts, about the report.
Why was a market inquiry set up?
The inquiry was set up because private healthcare and medical scheme cover is expensive in South Africa. Costs continue to rise and fewer people can afford it. People who have health insurance find that the scheme covers less care and they often have to pay out of pocket. Continue reading…
‘I can’t mention who are the parties I am expecting litigation from but I can assure I know who they are. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is preparing to be taken to court as he continues to propose changes in the healthcare system that could cost medical aid schemes millions.
Motsoaledi introduced the draft Medical Schemes Amendment Bill and National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill in Pretoria this week. The new legislation proposes significant changes to the way healthcare is funded and managed, including abolishing co-payments, prescribed minimum benefits and waiting periods for medical aid cover.
Medical aid schemes currently hold about R 60-billion in reserve — an amount almost 10% higher than what is statutorily required, said Motsoaledi speaking at a Pretoria press conference.
“These huge reserves were accumulated partly through high premiums but also by introducing the co-payments such that medical schemes avoid having to pay or even dip into the Continue reading…
When implemented, the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act will fundamentally change the way personal data is managed. Corporate South Africa, including medical aid schemes, insurance brokers, financial advisors, marketers and even brands need to start preparing now for its impact.
“A patient’s medical information and history are particularly sensitive,” says Gerhard van Emmenis, principal officer of Bonitas Medical Fund. “Which means the entire service chain, from medical practitioners to pharmacists, administrators and scheme, involved in receiving and storing this information will be required to meet the stringent POPI requirements.”
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The government’s plan to ditch medical aid tax credits will have a disastrous effect on already cash-strapped South Africans and force nearly 2 million people onto the over-stretched state health system. If the tax credit is removed, 22% of medical aid users will not be able to afford cover, Stellenbosch economics consultancy Econex warned in.. Continue reading…