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Medical Scheme 2021 increases – How will it impact the pockets of South Africans?

October is the month when most medical schemes announce their updated rates for 2021.Will it be in line with the Council for Medical Schemes’ recommendation?

In August 2020, the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) distributed a circular that outlined the key industry specific considerations that the CMS will consider when assessing the appropriateness of benefit changes, contribution rate increases, and overall cost increase assumptions for 2021 benefit year. The CMS asked trustees of schemes to consider members’ affordability constraints and freeze their contribution increases for 2021 or limit their increases to 3.9%.

Here are some of the latest announcements:

Momentum Medical Scheme has announced a weighted average annual contribution increase of 3.9% for 2021
Bestmed’s annual average increase for 2021, at 4%, is the lowest in the history of the scheme
Discovery Health announced that it will freeze monthly contributions for its medical aid plans for the first half of 2021 – after which it will introduce a price increase capped at CPI+2%.
Bonitas Medical Fund says the scheme is freezing the contribution increase on its BonFit Select plan and will have a weighted increase of 4.6% across all plans.
Medshield Medical Scheme says members on the MediPhila plan will experience “an affordable R84 increase in their monthly premiums, with a maximum increase of R350 on their top end plan”.
Fedhealth Medical Aid confirmed a weighted average contribution increase of 8.7%.

“Given the major financial challenges facing consumer households as a result of the lockdown, the affordability of maintaining medical scheme cover is another hurdle facing medical scheme members. The current economic challenges are set to continue well into 2021, and during this time it is vital to ensure that access to quality healthcare and cover are not compromised,” according to Jacqui Nel, Business Unit Head of Healthcare at Aon South Africa. “At the end of the day it is about ensuring that you have good quality care when you need it most, with the option of adding the bells and whistles back into the mix when it is affordable to do so.”

Click here to read Jaqui’s article: “Rethinking Your Healthcare options for 2021”.

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