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A walk down memory lane with Medihelp medical aid




In 1905, the Civil Service Medical Benefit Association or C.S.M.B.A. opened its doors. This organisation would stand the test of time and become known as Medihelp more than a century later.

In 2020, Medihelp celebrates 115 years in the South African medical aids industry. Since 1905, Medihelp medical aid has grown from a restricted medical aid with 362 civil servants as members to one of the largest open medical aids in South Africa. As an open medical aid, Medihelp’s membership is not limited to a specific group or organisation and any South African citizen may join. Nearly 2 000 members have been with us for over 50 years and currently many younger South Africans are also choosing Medihelp medical aid.

On turning 115, any organisation would inevitably pause to fondly reminisce a well-travelled road, but Medihelp will also use the lessons learned to craft a healthy future.

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Medihelp’s 115-year timeline

1905 – The Civil Service Medical Benefit Association (C.S.M.B.A.) is founded

1914 – World War I – the C.S.M.B.A. waives fees for members doing active duty
1918 – Spanish Flu epidemic
1930 – The Great Depression – the Medical Association of South Africa calls for national health insurance
1939 – World War II. The C.S.M.B.A. grows to 3 118 members
1940 – The National Health Service Commission advocates a national health service
1965 – The Minister of Home Affairs announces the C.S.M.B.A. as the compulsory medical scheme for state employees. Membership increases to 44 000 members
1970 – The C.S.M.B.A. becomes the largest medical scheme in South Africa
1973 – Our name changes to PSMAA – Public Service Medical Aid Association
1981 – PSMAA starts administrating Polmed and Prismed (police and correctional services medical aids)
1992 – PSMAA changes its name to Medihelp and Medihelp becomes an open medical aid, which meant that membership was no longer limited to Government employees and any South African could join as a member
1996 – Medihelp introduces electronic claims processing and managed healthcare principles
2004 – Medihelp launches a new corporate identity
2008 – Medihelp is the overall winner of the Ask Afrika Orange Index Award
2015 – The Department of Health publishes its White Paper on National Health Insurance
2018 – The Consulta SA-csi for medical schemes awards Medihelp first place in the medical aids category for customer satisfaction
2020 – COVID-19 changes the world and Medihelp adapts to the new normal

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