Medshield Medical Scheme confirms its utmost dedication to ensuring that all members and their dependents continue to receive much-needed quality healthcare in 2022 and beyond. Annually we adjust and enhance plan benefits where it matters most and continue to provide real value to our members.
Earlier in September, Medshield launched its benefit options and contributions for 2022. The Scheme will be implementing an affordable 5.2% increase on specified benefits across all options with zero benefit cuts. Medshield applied a member weighted average contribution increase of only 6.3%, following due consideration for sustainable contribution consistency and long-term value certainty.
Medshield has refined its product offering for 2022 to address the gaps raised by brokers, and to improve the Medshield basket of options for future membership growth. This includes a new hospital plan targeted at sportspeople at an affordable price, and Low-Cost Benefit Options (LCBOs), both subject to CMS approval. In the interest of our members, we have repackaged several pre-existing benefits and added ease of access to care, including our Medshield Mom and Toddler benefits.
When applying the member weighted average contribution increase of only 6.27%, we considered if we should have a lower increase now, which could result in above 15% increases next year, or to opt for a manageable increase this year for members and aim for a sustainable single-digit increase next year. The Scheme settled on the affordable 6.27% increase today, rather than a drastic increase later. Put into practise, the contribution increase on MediCurve results in a monthly increase of only R87.00 per month per member and R228.00 on MediPlus Prime.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic where access to healthcare is essential, our fair contribution increase permits more existing members to stay covered, while enabling more people to get covered as well. Since the onset of Covid-19, Medshield has paid more than R500 million in member Covid-19 claims and vaccinated approximately 40,000 members. The marginal contribution increases ensure that Medshield continues to provide access to quality healthcare throughout the pandemic, saving more lives in the process.
This past year, Medshield launched several member-centric innovations, with the addition of MediCurve, a revolutionary digital plan, as a highlight. The efficiencies of technology enabled Medshield to offer the plan at a very affordable rate and it is now the Scheme’s lowest-priced plan. We built on our SmartCare Digital Healthcare Ecosystem and opened the door for virtual consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic to unlock faster access to quality healthcare via computer, smartphone or tablet from any remote location. We have also enhanced our self-service functionality on the Medshield App and Interactive website for 24/7 self-service to include Virtual GP consultations. Members can also easily manage their day-to-day healthcare through these channels whilst benefiting from our health and wellness portal, Medshield Movement and our loyalty programme.
South Africa needs a more equitable healthcare system. Unlocking an enabling NHI is in part a solution, but it must coexist with private healthcare and medical schemes. South Africans are blessed with the benefit of a world-class private medical sector, on par with first world countries. Our private healthcare sector is a national treasure and, as such, should be protected and nurtured.
Only 15% of the country’s population is covered by a medical scheme due to affordability, but more than 30% of the population access private healthcare. Our 2022 product design strategy is aimed at addressing some of these affordability and access challenges that we are facing collectively as medical schemes. Providing access to affordable, quality healthcare is at the heart of what Medshield offers and the Scheme is committed to helping its members live healthier, happier, more fulfilling lives.
This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Medshield.