Medscheme recovers R107m in fraudulent claims Medical Schemes asked to cap 2021 membership fee increases
As a country, we started the year under huge financial pressure, facing a national deficit of R300bn. The global Covid-19 pandemic further affected our economy, bringing about forecasts that the economy would shrink by as much as 15%, Moody’s downgrading SA to junk status, and National Treasury estimating as many as two-million job losses.
On the flip side of the coin, the rand made a speedy recovery from R19 to the dollar to R16 to the dollar, and helped entities such as Sasol dramatically recover their share prices. Akin to the aftermath of a forest fire, green shoots abound in SA. We need to change our mindsets to be optimistic and look for those green shoots in our lives and our economy.
The pandemic presented schemes with the opportunity for embracing innovation in health care. The quadruple disease burden, coupled with deep structural societal issues, puts our country in a vulnerable position. As an integral stakeholder in the health-care system, we needed to balance the treatment of Covid-19 against other health-care needs.
In these unpredictable times, medical schemes have had to challenge the status quo and make quick decisions to save people’s lives, while ensuring the sustainability of the private health-care industry.
As Medshield we were not immune to shocks arising from the pandemic, and we emphasised this at our virtual annual general meeting in September.
I will highlight key trends affecting the medical schemes industry today and how we are manoeuvring our way through them.