An av­er­age of 8.9% in­crease in Bestmed’s 2019 mem­ber con­tri­bu­tions

Gen­er­ally, the med­i­cal in­dus­try has ex­pe­ri­enced ma­te­rial ris­ing costs. This af­fected mem­bers im­mensely, while putting pres­sure on the in­dus­try as a whole. But Bestmed will con­tinue to en­deav­our to keep in­creases to a min­i­mum.

Finweek English Edition - - Advertorial Bestmed -

south Africa’s fourth-largest open med­i­cal scheme, Bestmed Med­i­cal Scheme, an­nounced an av­er­age con­tri­bu­tion in­crease of 8.9% for 2019 at its prod­uct launch events held in all ma­jor re­gions in Oc­to­ber. Bestmed has also re­cently been voted as one of the top three schemes across the in­dus­try in the pres­ti­gious Ask Afrika Or­ange In­dex sur­vey, the largest and most widely ref­er­enced cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion bench­mark sur­vey done in South Africa.

Pi­eter van Zyl, act­ing CEO of Bestmed, ex­plained that this year’s in­crease of 8.9% is on par with the cur­rent med­i­cal in­fla­tion cor­ri­dor, with four of the scheme’s prod­uct of­fer­ings re­cently named as the “best” in the mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to the re­sults of the Grant Thorn­ton Cap­i­tal Sur­vey.

“This past year, we have again ex­pe­ri­enced ma­te­rial ris­ing costs in the med­i­cal in­dus­try, and this af­fected mem­bers im­mensely, while putting pres­sure on the in­dus­try as a whole. We en­deav­our to keep our in­creases to a min­i­mum, bear­ing in mind our mem­bers’ means, with­out com­pro­mis­ing ac­cess to qual­ity health­care. Car­ing for the health­care needs of ap­prox­i­mately 196 000 lives en­trusted to us, cou­pled with ex­cel­lent ser­vice, en­ables Bestmed to ef­fec­tively de­liver to mem­bers’ ex­pec­ta­tions,” says Van Zyl.

The lat­est amend­ment to the Value-Added Tax (VAT) Act, stip­u­lat­ing the in­crease in the VAT rate from 14% to 15%, was im­ple­mented on 1 April 2018. As of this date, the costs of ser­vice providers such as doc­tors, spe­cial­ists and hos­pi­tals, and all medicines and con­sum­ables billed to med­i­cal schemes have in­creased by 1%.

Bestmed’s de­ci­sion to not pass on the in­creased VAT bur­den to its mem­bers with a pre­mium in­crease for the re­main­der of the year, meant that the scheme in­curred higher-than-planned health­care costs for the 2018 fi­nan­cial year. “How­ever, we con­tin­ued to man­age our fi­nan­cial obli­ga­tions at no dis­ad­van­tage to our mem­bers,” says Van Zyl.

The med­i­cal scheme in­dus­try con­tin­ues to make a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to pro­vid­ing ac­cess to qual­ity health­care to South Africans. As South Africa’s largest self-ad­min­is­tered scheme, Bestmed is able to keep its ad­min­is­tra­tive costs to a min­i­mum. This en­sures that more than 90% of in­come re­ceived from mem­bers’ con­tri­bu­tions are paid to­wards med­i­cal scheme ben­e­fits. Act­ing CEO of Bestmed

A sum­mary of key ben­e­fit changes on spe­cific ben­e­fit op­tions for 2019:

■ ■ ■ A 50% frame ben­e­fit in­crease for mem­ber value at a pre­ferred provider ne­go­tia­tor (PPN).

Ad­di­tional ma­ter­nity ben­e­fits with 2 x 2D ul­tra­sounds, an­te­na­tal iron and folic acid tablets, and post-na­tal con­sul­ta­tion. Day-to-day den­tistry im­prove­ments: 10% in­crease in out-of-hos­pi­tal ba­sic and specialised den­tistry lim­its. Pre­ven­ta­tive care: for screened ben­e­fi­cia­ries, 3 di­eti­cian con­sul­ta­tions and 3 bioki­neti­cist con­sul­ta­tions per an­num.

HPV vac­ci­na­tions: HPV vac­ci­na­tion im­ple­mented on op­tions pre­vi­ously with­out this ben­e­fit.

Spinal pros­the­sis merge: com­bi­na­tion of spinal pros­the­sis and ar­ti­fi­cial disk limit in­creases.

Den­tal and oral surgery: ben­e­fi­cia­ries aged 7 and younger – ex­trac­tion and restora­tion ben­e­fits at day hos­pi­tals.

A new di­a­betes man­age­ment pro­gramme will be in­tro­duced to the ben­e­fit of all mem­bers.

“We con­tin­u­ously re­view our big­gest sin­gle claims and noted an in­crease in pre­ma­ture births, with 4 out of the 10 big­gest value claims re­lated to pre­ma­ture births. The trauma as­so­ci­ated with pre­ma­ture births, or com­pli­ca­tions at birth, are of real con­cern and we will con­tinue to do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to pro­vide peace of mind to mem­bers who find them­selves in such an un­for­tu­nate po­si­tion. In an at­tempt to re­duce the num­ber of trau­matic pre­ma­ture births, Bestmed will in­tro­duce a care­fully de­signed ante-na­tal pro­gramme to en­sure moth­ers main­tain op­ti­mal health be­fore and dur­ing preg­nancy,” ac­cord­ing to Van Zyl.

“In ad­di­tion, Bestmed will launch its new and im­proved well­ness pro­gramme, which in­cludes ad­di­tional as­sess­ments that will ben­e­fit mem­bers of all ages. These as­sess­ments are aimed at iden­ti­fy­ing health risk ar­eas of the en­tire fam­ily and will not just fo­cus on adults. By ar­eas’ as­sess­ment of ba­bies and chil­dren, par­ents will be able to take note of po­ten­tial health risks and Bestmed will as­sist with sound man­age­ment of any risks iden­ti­fied.” ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

The as­sess­ments in­clude in­ter alia the fol­low­ing:

An­te­na­tal and post-na­tal as­sess­ment of mother and baby As­sess­ment of growth and de­vel­op­men­tal mile­stones achieved Healthy in­fant, baby and tod­dler feed­ing pro­grammes and nu­tri­tional as­sess­ments

Sound im­mu­ni­sa­tion pro­grammes

Fam­i­lies will re­ceive a de­tailed re­port that in­di­cates their health sta­tus and/or their iden­ti­fied health risks with suit­able in­ter­ven­tions rec­om­mended to ad­dress the find­ings if deemed nec­es­sary.

Fur­ther­more, the newly de­vel­oped bro­ker and mem­ber apps, which form part of Bestmed’s dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion strat­egy, are ready to be down­loaded. These apps con­tain ef­fec­tive fea­tures that have been syn­chro­nised with the fea­tures of its new ad­min­is­tra­tion sys­tem, whereby Bestmed is now start­ing to note ef­fi­cien­cies and bet­ter re­sponse times. This will be a guar­an­teed pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence for bro­kers and mem­bers.

“Bestmed con­tin­ues to pri­ori­tise the health sta­tus of its mem­bers through its per­son­alised and cus­tomer-fo­cused ser­vices to all mem­bers aligned with its brand prom­ise: Per­son­ally Yours,” Van Zyl con­cluded. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Pi­eter van Zyl

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.