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Medihelp’s market offering for 2017

  •   by Medihelp
  •   28 October 2016
  •   1760 view(s)

The alarming increase in medical aid claims has received considerable media coverage lately.

Benefit expenditure which far exceeds available budgets for 2016 has put most medical schemes under financial pressure. The effect is reflected in the premium increases for 2017 that were announced by medical schemes recently. Double-digit increases combined with a decrease in benefits and savings components have so far been the order of the day. Through these measures, medical schemes attempt to contain claim trends and absorb premium increases.

Although Medihelp has also been affected by the unexpected increase in claims, the Scheme has decided not to transfer the entire burden of this unforeseen expense to members by implementing unrealistic premium increases and reducing benefits. Medihelp has therefore announced a uniform, responsibly calculated increase of 10,9% on all its options and has kept its benefit structures for 2017 unchanged.

Medihelp will join hands with suppliers of medical services in the coming year to implement mechanisms aimed at the effective management of costs and usage. At the same time, Medihelp will reach out to members and advisers and will use its online healthcare support programme, HealthPrint, to increase awareness of cost drivers with members and advisers. HealthPrint will use individualised, electronic newsletters based on the profiles and usage trends of members and advisers to support and empower them with relevant information. This way, we can all participate actively in managing healthcare expenses to benefit everyone.

With regards to Medihelp’s market offering for 2017, the Scheme will continue to offer a selection of 10 benefit options, with a non-network and network alternative available on some plans – members can save up to 22% in premiums by choosing a network alternative. More than 60% of all new members who currently enrol with Medihelp choose a network option, because of the quality networks and benefits offered by these options.

The medical schemes industry has also experienced an increase in the popularity of hospital plans and a drop in membership of more comprehensive plans in recent years. This move can most likely be ascribed to economic pressures.

Medihelp’s Dimension Prime 1 option is widely regarded as one of the most competitive hospital plan options currently available. This option consists of a network and a non-network alternative. What sets Dimension Prime 1 apart from its competitors is its comprehensive preventive care benefits and the increased day-to-day benefits covering a variety of disciplines which are available in 2017.

Dimension Prime 3 is regarded as Medihelp’s flagship option and offers comprehensive benefits for families as well as a network and non-network alternative (at a 22% lower premium). In contrast to similar options in the market, Dimension Prime 3 continues to show positive growth, which testifies to the excellent benefits offered by this option.

Medihelp’s income-based option, Necesse, has a hugely popular income scale specifically for students. More than 50% of the option’s growth over the past year have been recorded in the student market.

Unify, Medihelp’s new savings option with a 25% savings component, has become one of Medihelp’s most popular options in just one year after its introduction, and market comparisons indicate that this option is likely to continue its success in 2017.

Medihelp has faith in the value, stability and competitiveness of the Scheme’s range of benefit options, and we believe that by collaborating with all role players next year we will succeed in effectively managing the risks facing the industry.
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