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CMS CEO defends ‘rogue’ outlawing of low-cost medical scheme plans

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The outlawing of low-cost benefit options, intended to increase the affordability of schemes, by the Council for Medical Schemes was not a “rogue” action, but because a universal access national system was preferable to the “highly commercialised” path, writes CMS CEO Sipho Kabane on BusinessLive.

Sipho Kabane, registrar and CEO of the Council for Medical Schemes writes that the country’s economy has come under much strain and higher levels of unemployment suggest that a low-cost benefit option for low-income earners could be difficult to realise.

“It is difficult for us to support the introduction of the low-cost benefit option and demarcation products as they are structured and operated. We instead prefer to promote a discussion that will lead to the implementation of a single comprehensive basic option that should be implemented across all schemes, as recommended by the Health Market Inquiry.”

“Indeed, no low-cost benefit options will be allowed for low-income market segments going forward to align such products with the broader health-policy discussion that seeks to ensure adequate access to care, irrespective of the economic status of the population. We believe that they do not guarantee value for money and fail to protect the interests of their members and are likely to drive them to access health care from public facilities due to their limited inferior benefits.”

For full open access BusinessLive article

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