Has the medical schemes regulator gone rogue? If not, how else does one explain the cavalier move by the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) to strip private health-care cover from hundreds of thousands of people without any guarantee of a safety net?

On December 4 CMS registrar Sipho Kabane issued a circular that stunned the medical scheme and health insurance industry. In one fell swoop he rang the death knell for health insurance products that provide primary health-care cover; scrapped the development of low-cost benefit options, which could potentially bring lower-wage earners into the stagnant medical schemes market; and signed a death warrant for the bargaining council medical schemes that offer more affordable pared-down cover to blue-collar workers...

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