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Up to 20-million South Africans from low-income households could afford basic private healthcare services if the medical schemes regulator stopped stalling on plans for cheap, pared- down benefit options, a healthcare conference was told on Thursday.

The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) is overseeing the development of a serially delayed framework for low-cost benefit options (LCBO), that will allow schemes to offer packages that are exempted from provisions in the Medical Schemes Act that require cover for a much broader basket of care, known as prescribed minimum benefits...

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