Financially strapped South African consumers have been downgrading their medical scheme options or forgoing medical aid altogether in the past few years, data shows. And now, with interest rates rising, ballooning grocery bills and runaway fuel prices, medical schemes are keenly watching their membership numbers. They are grappling with the question of how to remain relevant to struggling consumers while sustaining the benefits their members have become accustomed to.
An increasing number of medical schemes are looking at low-cost or affordable health insurance products for growth.
Momentum Health Solutions, which hosted its annual healthcare insights seminar this week, believes this is the area for growth. Its low-cost medical insurance, Health4Me, has grown members from 17 730 in 2012 to 153 374 in 2021, a compounded annual growth rate of 24.3%. The average growth rate over the last four years was 18%.