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Cheap, pared-down basket of benefits to low earners will ensure greater access to private healthcare, says top actuary UP TO 4-million more South Africans could have access to private healthcare if medical schemes were allowed to provide a cheap, pared-down basket of benefits to low earners, delegates to the annual Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) conference heard on Monday.Such a move would require reforms to the Medical Schemes Act, which says all schemes must provide cover for prescribed minimum benefits (PMBs), a set of largely hospital-based conditions that critics say make medical schemes unaffordable for many people."We think at R299 (a month), another 2-million people could afford to join the system if we could come up with a package they would want to buy," said the joint-CEO of Insight Actuaries and Consultants, Christoff Raath."With a Treasury (tax break) and employer subsidies there could be as many as 4-million lives covered," Mr Raath said."The PMBs are not affordable...

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