About 15,000 SA Post Office (Sapo) employees and pensioners may have no medical aid from next month after the Medipos medical scheme told them it was cutting them off because it is owed R602m in member contributions, reports Sunday Times.
In a letter sent to affected employees last week, the scheme’s principal officer, Thabisiwe Mlotshwa, said Sapo has not paid the contributions made by members over to the scheme for the past 15 months.
“On the odd occasion that we do receive some form of contribution it will only be partial payment. To date, a total of approximately R602m is owed by Sapo to Medipos, thus a significant portion of your contributions remains unpaid,” the letter said.
“The scheme’s reserves were used to pay your claims and scheme expenses while not receiving full contributions (and) are now (on 31 August 2021) at just under R233m. Despite continued engagements with Sapo executives and the escalation to the Sapo board, these engagements have not borne any outcome that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the scheme. The board has regretfully had to come to a decision that should your arrear contribution not be received by 30 September, your membership will be suspended with immediate effect from 1 October. This means you will have no cover for medical expenses.”
Sapo spokesperson Nobuhle Njapha acknowledged the arrears, blaming it on “a massive drop in revenue” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions. She said Sapo was engaging with Medipos and the unions “on the way forward”.
“Contributions will be transferred as soon as revenue levels recover adequately or financial assistance is received,” she said, adding that “a strategy to improve its operational and financial performance” had been developed.
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