Today's Labour News

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GEMSBusinessLive reports that the 15-year old Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) expects to meet the regulator’s requirement to have a 25% solvency ratio for the first time next year.  

GEMS had 1.833-million members at the end of 2017, and provided cover to just more than half of all eligible public servants.  Its financial stability is crucial to the government’s plans for National Health Insurance (NHI), which envisages GEMS being merged with all the other medical schemes available to public servants.  GEMS has always had a solvency ratio far below the 25% required by the Medical Schemes Act, partly due to it growing its membership base, but also because it provided generous benefits without underwriting.  It did not impose waiting periods on new members, and allowed people to join and quit repeatedly as their healthcare needs ebbed and flowed, compromising its ability to build reserves.  The solvency ratio has since improved, thanks to a raft of changes that include the introduction of underwriting and measures to combat fraud and waste.  GEMS ended 2017 on 15.22% and expects to close 2018 above a 18.2% target.  It anticipates reaching a 25% solvency ratio next year, three years ahead of target.

  • Read the full original of this report by Tamar Kahn at BusinessLive

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