Medical scheme members could be moved into umbrella medical schemes operating in a similar way to umbrella retirement funds on the long walk to National Health Insurance. This is one of the measures being considered by the medical scheme regulator, the Council for Medical Schemes, which has been tasked with consolidating schemes to strengthen the pooling of risk and make schemes more affordable. Shivani Ranchod, an actuary and CEO at consultancy Percept, presented the umbrella option as part of a framework for consolidating medical schemes at the recent conference of the Board of Healthcare Funders of Southern Africa in Sun City. Ranchod was contracted by the CMS to help it with consolidating the 83 medical schemes and their 323 options into fewer, bigger, stronger and more affordable schemes and options. Although the Medical Schemes Amendment and NHI bills do not contain any measures to compel schemes to consolidate, the acting registrar for medical schemes, Sipho Kabane, says mark...

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