Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Community Medical Scheme (Commed) is to be liquidated, and its 11,000 members moved over to Bonitas Medical Scheme, the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) announced on Friday.

Commed was placed under provisional curatorship on June 2 2017. At the time, the CMS said members could rest assured that the scheme was able to pay their claims.

Reports subsequently compiled by the scheme’s provisional curator and its actuary indicated that the scheme was in fact insolvent, acting CMS registrar Sipho Kabane said on Monday.

The High Court in Pretoria placed Commed under provisional curatorship in the wake of alleged governance failing after the CMS discovered alleged governance failings by its board.

The apparent failures in fiduciary oversight include allowing a R1.1 million bonus to be paid to Commed’s principal officer that was outside the scope of her performance agreement, and permitting illegal advance payments to the scheme’s administrator, Allcare, to go ahead.

The CMS emphasised that the liquidation of Commed was unrelated to the drive to consolidate the industry under National Health Insurance.

The migration of members was due to begin on Monday, and once completed, liquidation of the 28-year-old scheme is expected to commence.

Kabane said Bonitas had been selected for Commed members to ensure their benefits were not compromised. They would move across with no break in their cover, he said.

Commed was established in 1989 and registered initially as Bopmed to serve the former Bophuthatswana homeland.

Bonitas, which is administered by Medscheme, is the second largest open medical scheme in SA with about 348,000 principal members and 753,500 beneficiaries.

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