The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in one of the worst economic downturns in SA’s recent history in 2020 with a 7% contraction in GDP.

Despite the fact many households saw a decline in their overall income, most medical scheme members were loath to give up their private health insurance in the midst of a global health pandemic. Instead, says Damian McHugh, executive head of marketing at Momentum Health Solutions, if they had no other option, members downgraded to more affordable plans.

Though there remains a great deal of work to be done in ensuring the healthcare needs of all South Africans are met, Josua Joubert, CEO and principal officer of CompCare Medical Scheme, agrees there is a trend towards consumers doing their utmost to keep their  healthcare cover intact.

Schemes are legally obliged to provide certain prescribed minimum benefits, which are costly. Alternative insurance products which provide more affordable and accessible cover but which fall outside the scope of the Medical Schemes Act is one way scheme administrators are addressing affordability. 

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