Insurers that offer cheap primary healthcare cover are anxiously waiting to hear whether SA’s medical scheme industry regulator will grant them another reprieve from the requirements of the Medical Schemes Act, or compel them to take their products off the market when their exemption expires on March 31.

Between 800,000 and 1.5-million consumers are members of primary healthcare products that provide cover for private sector medical services such as GP and dentist visits, according to industry sources. Most of these beneficiaries are low-income workers subsidised by their employers, who cannot afford the much higher premiums charged by medical schemes...

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