Consumers are not especially satisfied with their medical aids, according to the 2018 South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi). The survey, released by independent market research firm Consulta, indicates that on average customer satisfaction fell from 74.2 last year to 72.7 this year – perhaps unsurprisingly, as medical aids appear to provide poor value for money, with above-inflation premiums, pricey co-payments and exclusions causing headaches for members.
Only two medical schemes performed above average, according to the Index – Medihelp’s satisfaction level was 75.1, up from 72.6 last year (a 2.5 improvement), while Discovery’s satisfaction level was 73.1 (down by 1.7 from its 74.8 score last year).
How has Medihelp got to the top? The open medical scheme has taken pains to improve its product offering and how it communicates with members since it restructured in mid-2016 (a turnaround strategy that has clearly paid off).
“For the past few years, Medihelp has consistently been announcing market-related contribution increases, a reduction of co-payments and an increase in the benefit richness of products,” said Heyn van Rooyen, Principal Officer of Medihelp.
Service delivery has been high on the agenda – the scheme has moderated co-payments and come up with better service platforms that have improved communication with members.
Medihelp also performed well in SAcsi’s Perceived Value Index – it achieved a rating of 73.6 compared to the industry average of 69.4 and also improved on its 70.9 rating of last year. Members clearly feel that they are being fairly treated, since Medihelp showed strong improvement in terms of the Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) measure, with a rating of 78.3.
Momentum, Bonitas and Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) performed below the industry average, with Momentum dropping by 0.2 and Bonitas 2.9. GEMS improved by 4.5 but nevertheless lagged in 5th spot on the Index.