Members will find their medical schemes radically transformed over the next few years as benefits and benefit options are aligned with the National Health Insurance policy, speakers at a Board of Healthcare Funders conference said this week. In addition, the Council for Medical Schemes will start consulting on the introduction of mandatory membership of medical schemes for those who can afford it, as an interim measure on the path to NHI, Vishal Brijlal, a technical adviser on NHI in the Department of Health, told delegates. Mandatory membership could bring about significant reductions in contributions as schemes will no longer face the cost of anti-selection - admitting members who join schemes only when they are ill and in need of treatment. Scheme contributions increased each year by two to three percentage points more than inflation - and that was without taking into account the effect of members buying cheaper cover each year, Childs said. Early indications from the country's l...

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