This year, the main issue in the private healthcare industry has been escalating medical expenses. We can point fingers at the 1% VAT increase and the weak rand, but also at the increasing costs for imported medication and new medical technology. The upshot has been the significant increase in medical aid premiums – for the 18th year in a row.
Tony Singleton, CEO of Turnberry Management Risk Solutions, believes that we will continue to see an increase in medical aid contributions. “Medical aids are faced with medical inflation of around 9-10%, whereas the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is closer to 5%. As a result, contributions will increase at a rate closer to medical inflation, which is above the normal salary increase range,” he says. He believes that the introduction of managed care protocols and increases to (or the introduction of) co-payments and sub-limits to certain procedures will also be a factor going forward – however, there will also be an increase in the use of providers that offer preferential rates.
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