Finweek English Edition - - Focus On Medical Aid & Insurance Costs -

“The cost of pri­vate health­care in South Africa is re­ported to be the high­est in the world, with med­i­cal aid in­creases driven by med­i­cal aid and in­fla­tion,” says Bafihlile Mokoena, com­mu­ni­ca­tion spe­cial­ist: pub­lic re­la­tions & cor­po­rate so­cial in­vest­ment at Bestmed.

Tony Sin­gle­ton, CEO of Turn­berry Risk Man­age­ment So­lu­tions, says that some of the key driv­ers of med­i­cal in­fla­tion at this mo­ment in­clude:

1. The 1% VAT in­crease and its knock-on ef­fect through­out the med­i­cal in­dus­try

2. Short­ages of spe­cial­ist doc­tors

3. New med­i­cal ap­pli­ances and tech­nolo­gies com­ing at high cost to hos­pi­tals and spe­cial­ists

4. In­crease in the costs of med­i­cal sup­plies and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals

5. In­crease in doc­tors’ in­dem­nity in­surance costs

“In South Africa, the prob­lem is fur­ther ag­gra­vated by the rand-dol­lar ex­change rate,” he adds.

Ac­cord­ing to Shree­kanth Sing, tech­ni­cal le­gal ad­viser at PSG Wealth, med­i­cal aid schemes are ex­pected to in­crease pre­mi­ums for 2019 by an av­er­age of be­tween 8% and 10%, com­pared to in­fla­tion of 4.9%. This was in line with Dis­cov­ery Health – SA’s largest open med­i­cal aid scheme – an­nounc­ing be­tween 8.9% and 9.9% in­creases, and Bestmed an­nounc­ing an in­crease in its pre­mi­ums of 8.9%. ■

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