Here are 10 things everyone should know about the proposed National Health Insurance in South Africa.
- The National Health Insurance is a proposal to extend health care cover to our nation.
- It is anticipated that implementation will begin early in 2010 and the target is to have full cover for all by 2014.
- The implementation process is likely to be difficult and one should realise that this will not mean immediate cover for all initially.
- Most South Africans agree that health care is a right and support the idea of an NHI.
- If the system is to work, it will be necessary for all role players (government, unions, business, doctors, hospitals) to work together to achieve success.
- There are however many concerns around financing the NHI as well as the management and roll-out.
- The NHI is likely to be financed from increased taxes on individuals and companies – in other words all employed people will contribute in some form or manner. Allowance may be made for low earning individuals i.e. possibly below R3000 per month.
- It is likely that medical schemes will remain in place alongside the NHI for those that want it and can afford to pay for it. It nevertheless appears that all working people who earn above a certain amount will have to make a contribution to the NHI.
- Until the NHI is up and running, it is advisable to retain Medical Aid cover in order to ensure the health and well being of your family.
- The road to full NHI will be rocky and we strongly urge you to think carefully on this before making any short-term decision.
Victor Crouser , Alexander Forbes, for Health24, October 2009