Updated 19 February 2013

Medihelp: true value for money

As one of South Africa’s five largest open medical schemes and a leading player in the industry, Medihelp is offering its members true value for money in 2013.


As one of South Africa’s five largest open medical schemes and a leading player in the industry, Medihelp is offering its members true value for money in 2013.

According to Anton Rijnen, CEO of Medihelp, the Scheme achieved a balance between the enhancement of benefits, expansion of choice of benefit-options and competitiveness in terms of price.

Anton Rijnen, CEO of Medihelp

As part of its value-adding initiative Medihelp has introduced a network option on its Dimension Prime range of benefit options which will cost members on average 10% less in subscription fees in 2013. This will amount to increases of between 0% and 2.4% for those members who choose one of the Dimension Prime network options next year.Services for this network will be provided by private hospital groups, comprising 59 hospitals and members will enjoy the same benefits as those on the standard options. Additional enhancements to benefit options include a separate, additional benefit for child birth at home on all options as well as a 6% average increase on maximum benefit limit amounts on all options.

According to Rijnen, preventative care has become an important component of Medihelp’s strategy towards ensuring the general health and well-being of its members. In this regard, the Scheme has boosted its already substantial preventative care benefits on its Dimension range and Medihelp Plus option with enhancements including benefits for circumcision in doctors’ rooms, bone mineral density tests for females 50 years and older and standard immunisation for children younger than seven years added to the Dimension Elite and Medihelp Plus benefit options.

Rijnen says increased premiums for 2013 will vary according to the specific option members choose and the number of dependents they have registered. “In evaluating the increases, factors such as the various enhancements made to the benefit options as well as inflationary-driven expenses in terms of hospitalisation, specialists and medicines should be taken into account. Another factor that plays a role is the increased utilisation of services, which causes medical inflation to rise faster than the CPI rate,” he says.

In terms of membership, the average age of Medihelp’s members has declined by 4.2 years to 36 years since 2011, bringing it in line with the industry average. In addition, Medihelp has again been awarded an AA- (AA minus) rating for its claims-paying ability by the Global Credit Rating Company. The Scheme has also been able to maintain its position as the leader in client service after being named the medical scheme that renders the best client service in South Africa by theAsk Afrika Orange Index® 2012.

In terms of non-healthcare expenses as a percentage of net contributions, Medihelp achieved 11.5% for 2012 which is comfortably below the industry average. For members this means that Medihelp’s primary focus remains on their healthcare needs, affording them real value for their monthly contributions. “Our primary aim remains to maintain a balance between cover, quality of care and cost,” says Rijnen. “We will continue to explore all avenues that will contribute to the continued sustainability of Medihelp and the value experienced by its members,” he says.

(Press release from Medihelp, October 2012)