Medical schemes are announcing lower contribution increases for next year - but percentage increases are only one aspect of assessing the impact the annual changes will have on you. And benefit cuts will also be less severe this year, says Victor Crouser, the coastal head of consultancy Alexander Forbes Healthcare - but only because schemes do not have much room left to cut. However, members need to watch out for increases in co-payments, deductibles and thresholds. And benefit limits that stay the same are a reduction in real terms, because their values have been eroded by inflation. Average increases Medical services and supplies typically increase each year by two to three percentage points above inflation. South Africa's largest medical scheme, Discovery, has implemented a weighted average increase of 7.9%, with members facing increases from 7.3% to 8.3%, depending on which options they have, Alexander Forbes Healthcare reports. Other large open schemes have announced the follow...

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