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17 July 2009

Dont panic about Bonitas: council

The medical schemes industry must not panic about the status of the country's third largest medical scheme, the Bonitas Medical Fund, the Council for Medical Schemes said.

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The medical schemes industry must not panic about the status of the country's third largest medical scheme, the Bonitas Medical Fund, the Council for Medical Schemes said on Friday.

This followed media reports on an investigation ordered by the Johannesburg High Court into the Bonitas Medical Fund and its administrator Medscheme Holdings, the council said in a statement.

Bonitas had allegedly used members' money for investments and incomplete property developments.

"Bonitas remains very stable and financially sound," the council said. Bonitas had over 566 000 beneficiaries and its solvency ratio (or reserves as a percentage of contributions received) remained impressive at over 45%, the council noted.

'No reason to panic'
This was well above the 25% required by the Medical Schemes Act. "The reasons for the Acting Registrar of Medical Schemes Patrick Matshidze having lodged an urgent application with the Johannesburg High Court last week to investigate the scheme and its administrator are related to alleged governance problems at the scheme and not to its financial soundness," the council said.

There was thus no reason to panic, it said.

"Brokers are advised to act with restraint. Any advice they give, to both existing and potential members of Bonitas, must accord with the principles of best advice, have the best interests of their clients at heart, and be based on a proper assessment of the situation," the council said. – (Sapa, July 2009)

Read more:
Most in SA without medical aid
Registered schemes in South Africa

 
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