Today's Labour News

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councilmedicalschemesBusinessLive reports that it is expected that the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) will finalise a draft consultative framework on consolidating the medical schemes industry within two months.  

Industry consolidation is in line with government policy on National Health Insurance (NHI), but is likely to run into fierce opposition from industry players and civil servants.  CEO Sipho Kabane indicated that the framework would contain proposals for consolidating government-funded schemes for public servants, reducing the number of scheme benefit options and consolidating schemes that had less than the statutory requirement of 6,000 members.  While the Medical Schemes Act stipulates that schemes must have at least 6,000 members to be registered, this threshold has never been enforced small stable schemes have been permitted to continue with their operations.  All but three of the 31 schemes with fewer than 6,000 members at the end of 2015 were restricted employer groups, which generally subsidised members on low incomes, enabling them to buy cover they could not afford on the open market.  The medical scheme industry had 8.87-million members at the end of 2016.

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