Across the private healthcare industry in South Africa, members of medical schemes are bracing themselves for a 10% increase in their 2020 contributions.
This will (once again) exceed the general inflation rate by 4.6%. With average salary increases that are usually lower than 10%, most people will be hit hard if their 2020 increase in medical scheme cover once again consumes a larger portion of their salary.
Lowest increase for 8th consecutive year
Contrary to the above statistics in the private healthcare industry, we are pleased to announce that, for the eighth consecutive year, Genesis will have the lowest average contribution increase of all open medical schemes in South Africa for 2020.
According to Dennis van der Merwe, the Principal Officer of Genesis Medical Scheme, the average contribution increases announced by some of the bigger open medical schemes for next year is in the region of 9.8%. The good news for Genesis’ members, on the other hand, is that their increase will average only 5.4% in 2020. This is almost half of what members of other medical schemes may have to budget for.
Benefits of self-administration
Given our current economic climate, the multiple challenges we face with private healthcare costs and government’s attempts to change the entire healthcare landscape, you may ask just how it is possible for Genesis to be rated as one of the top medical schemes in South Africa and, at the same time, maintain such low annual contribution increases, year after year.
Dennis van der Merwe, Principal Officer of Genesis, explains, “The Scheme’s ability to offer such a low increase in contributions, coupled with benefit enhancements and not reductions, is a result of the benefits of self-administration, prudent risk management, positive financial and operational performance, steady membership growth and a young membership profile.”
Focus on risk cover that matters most
Van der Merwe continues to explain that the Scheme’s focus is on the provision of primarily catastrophic cover – that is, the big accident, illness or disease. “In order to keep contributions as affordable as possible, Genesis does not follow the general trend of trying to be everything to everybody, but to rather provide the best possible, no-frills and easy-to-understand benefits to a niche market in South Africa. Client centeredness and service are our key differentiators,” comments Van der Merwe.
Affordable medical cover is what Genesis does best. According to data published by the financial advisory group GTC, the average increase across medical aid schemes over the last decade has hit as high as 6.4 % points above inflation. On the other hand, Genesis has maintained average contribution increases in line with or below inflation over the last decade.
Depending on which benefit option Genesis members are on, the Rand value of the 2020 contribution increases range between R0 and R155 per adult per month. According to Van der Merwe, it is important that members of medical schemes consider the actual Rand value of their 2020 increases and not just values expressed as percentages. “We pay our bills with money; not percentages.
There can be no doubt that we are experiencing some very challenging times financially. Each month the task of balancing the budget takes on a new meaning with the ever increasing cost of petrol, food, electricity, water and just about everything that we need to run our households. Members of medical schemes should consider their options carefully and do their homework properly. Expensive medical aid cover does not buy a better bed in hospital and it is for this reason that Genesis encourages everyone to weigh up their in-hospital (risk) cover in relation to what they pay.