Bonitas announce healthy annual results

Bonitas Medical Fund (the Scheme) reported its financial results for 2018 announcing bolstered reserves from R4.0 billion in 2017 to R4.13 billion in 2018, despite difficult trading conditions. As at 31 December 2018, the Scheme had 330 993 Principal members with a total of 710 206 beneficiaries

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‘The surplus achieved in 2018 will be invested back into the Scheme and contribute towards offering our members access to affordable healthcare of the highest quality,’ says Lee Callakoppen, Principal Officer of Bonitas. ‘Last year our financial results were the best in our history and, even though we could not duplicate this, we are satisfied with the 2018 financials, especially given our stagnant economy and other negative fiscal influences.’

Callakoppen, who took over as Principal Officer in April, says the Scheme has been, and remains, proactive in a number of strategic areas to continue to curtail costs. ‘Some factors are beyond our control such as high healthcare inflation, the recession and increased claims, especially for lifestyle related diseases. But we can’t sit back and blame everything on outside influences; we need to constantly be looking for innovative methods to reduce costs while continuing to offer our members maximum value for money. And we believe we are achieving our mandate and getting this balance right.’

The big numbers:

‘Although we took a multi-pronged approach to cost saving, here are some top line achievements:

  • Reserves increased from R4.0 billion to R4.13 billion. We are in a  robust financial position and are confident of our ability to meet member claims
  • Hospital negotiations delivered savings of R290 million
  • Fraud, Waste and Abuse (FWA) initiatives delivered recoveries of R43.3 million
  • R153 million saved from positive change in claiming behaviour – making a total of R174 million realised
  • Additional cost saving initiatives of R59 million (examples of this included the benefit adjustments)
  • An investment return of R197.4 million
  • A 25.2% solvency ratio, up from up from 24.5% in 2017
  • A surplus of R164.8 million

However, there was an 8.9% increase in claims, 44.9% of all claims were for hospital admissions and 11.7% for specialists – these remain the two highest cost-drivers.

Callakoppen says, ‘The net healthcare results demonstrate the Scheme’s ability to implement strategies in order to remain resilient during difficult financial periods. This, not only to help limit contribution increases, but also deliver on our mandate of making healthcare affordable for all South Africans.’