The Council for Medical Scheme’s (CSM) plan to consolidate or dissolve small medical schemes poses huge risks to the people who belong to them and may force some to drop their cover entirely, industry sources warned this week. More than 228,000 people belong to 31 medical schemes that had less than 6,000 members at the end of December 2015, according to the CMS 2015-16 annual report. All but three of these schemes are restricted employer groups, and all were in sound financial health with solvency ratios above the statutory requirement of 25%. Restricted employer group schemes generally subsidise members on low incomes, including pensioners, enabling them to buy cover they could not afford on the open market. CMS acting registrar Sipho Kabane said the decision to consolidate the industry was in line with the government’s White Paper on National Health Insurance (NHI), published in June. He said medical schemes with less than 6,000 principal members had been identified as potential t...

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