The Medical Schemes Amendment Bill has been gazetted for public comment, setting in motion a potentially contentious debate between the government, industry and consumer groups over how best to protect patients from catastrophic medical expenses. Briefing reporters ahead of the release of the bill, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the changes were intended to give greater protection to medical scheme members and ensure more of their monthly premiums was spent on healthcare, rather than broker fees or accumulating medical scheme reserves. Medical schemes currently hold R60bn in reserves, equivalent to 33% of their annual premium income and far in excess of the 25% threshold currently required by law, he said. This was an unnecessary accumulation of reserves at the expense of patients, the minister said.

The total amount paid to brokers in 2017 was R2.2bn, said the minister. "We want this money to be made available to pay for direct expenses of members rather than serving b...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.