The Competition Commission’s health market inquiry has recommended that medical aid schemes change the way they structure their various options so that they can be compared more easily and thereby increase competition in the market. It found that the "deliberate" way in which medical aid schemes bundle, package and price their options allows them to weaken and even avoid outright price competition. "While significant marketing takes place in the schemes market, consumers are not able to compare what schemes offer. With approximately 270 plans on offer, consumers cannot compare these nor can they choose scheme and plan options on the basis of value for money," the panel for the inquiry said in its provisional report, released on Thursday. The panel also recommended greater transparency on health outcomes so consumers can make their purchases on this basis. Furthermore, it recommends the creation of a supply-side regulator to improve competition in the market. The inquiry looked into ...

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