Annual medical scheme claims expenditure rose on average by 11.3% a year over the past decade, far faster than consumer price inflation, which increased on average by just 6.1%, according to data published on Monday. The Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS) data came from its administrator, Discovery Health. DHMS is the biggest open scheme in the country, with 2.7-million lives, and represents 31% of the total market. The data highlight the financial strain facing many medical scheme members, who typically face annual hikes to their medical scheme premiums that outstrip their salary increases. It is a problem that has vexed the Council for Medical Schemes for years and is among issues being scrutinised by the Competition Commission’s health market inquiry, which is expected to finalise its work later this year. Discovery Health CEO Jonathan Broomberg said the data, packaged as the Discovery Health Medical Inflation Tracker, were intended to inform the debate about what was driving...

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