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CMS Quarterly report – Key trends prior to Covid-19 lockdown

The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) has just published its quarterly report for the period ended 31 March 2020. Tasked with monitoring the financial performance and soundness of medical schemes, the CMS publishes comparative figures on a quarterly basis.

Here are some of the key trends:

Accumulated funds and solvency levels

The overall industry average solvency level declined by 11.0% from the audited solvency level of 35.6% at 31 December 2019 to 31.7% at 31 March 2020. The total reserves per Regulation 29 for all medical schemes amounted to R 70.1 billion at 31 March 2020, which was 4.4% lower than the reserves of R 73.3 billion as at 31 December 2019.

Membership, age distribution and pensioner ratio

The total number of principal members of registered medical schemes increased by 0.2% from 4 047 804 at 31 December 2019 to 4 056 860 at 31 March 2020.
The number of total beneficiaries decreased slightly from 8 953 695 at 31 December 2019 to 8 935 846 at 31 March 2020.
The average number of members of 4 046 104 for the period ended 31 March 2020 was 0.7% lower than budget of 4 074 069, and the average number of beneficiaries of 8 920 561 was 0.1% higher than budget of 8 910 099.
The industry average age for all registered schemes for the period ended 31 March 2020 was 33.7 years, which is similar to the 33.1 years as at 31 December 2019. The proportion of pensioners for the period was 8.9% and remained largely unchanged from 31 December 2019.

Contributions and relevant healthcare expenditure

The total gross contributions for all medical schemes amounted to R 55.2 billion for the period ended 31 March 2020, which was 0.5% lower than the budget and 8.0% higher than the R 51.1 billion for 31 March 2019.
The gross contribution per average beneficiary per month at 31 March 2020 of R 2 062.9 went up by 7.1% from R 1 926.2 at 31 March 2019.
The net relevant healthcare expenditure per average beneficiary per month for the period ended 31 March 2020 was R 1 713.1, being a 7.5% increase from March 2019 of R 1 595.2, and 7.6% lower than budget of R 1 713.1.

Non-healthcare expenses

The total non-healthcare expenses for all medical schemes amounted to R 4.2 billion for the period ended 31 March 2020, which was 6.5% lower than the R 4.5 billion budgeted for and 6.1% higher than the R 3.9 billion at the end of March 2019.

Click here to download the CMS Quarterly report which also includes data on operating results and investments.

The latest report is based on stats up to the start of the Covid pandemic lockdown period. The following quarter’s report will be interesting to gauge as the pandemic would have had a huge impact on healthcare costs and expenditure.

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