While Circular 56 from the Council for Medical Schemes has granted a further exemption to medical insurers to continue operating, there is still some urgency for CMS to actively address the matter of low cost benefit options (LCBOs) to protect the estimated 700 000 South Africans who currently rely on primary healthcare cover through medical insurance policies.

Such concerns have prompted the Institute of Health Risk Managers (IHRM) to hold a webinar* this Friday, 18 September, from 09h00 to 12h00, to specifically provide an update on the low cost benefit options situation.

Uncertainty still prevailed after CMS registrar, Dr Sipho Kabane, told a BHF Dialogue webinar audience last week that discussions around LCBOs and related options were at ‘a delicate stage’ at the moment (see https://medbriefafrica.co.za/lcbo-discussions-at-delicate-stage-registrar/)

“There are a whole host of issues that have to be clarified but I don’t believe the low cost benefit options will be the solution by themselves,” said Kabane, making specific reference to primary health insurance policies.

These and other pointers will be on the IHRM webinar agenda when Toska Kouskos, Executive, Life and Health at Constantia Insurance Group; and Barry Childs, Joint CEO of Insight Actuaries and Consultants, will address various considerations regarding LCBOs, including:

·         The impact on the estimated 700 000 policy holders

·         The impact on the medical insurance industry of the LCBO

·         What is the minimum benefit package likely to include?

·         Eligibility criteria

·         Managing potential buy downs

·         Solvency

·         What if the LCBO is not developed in time?

·         Legal considerations

*Further details and registration requirements can be accessed at http://www.ihrm.co.za/update-on-developments-for-low-cost-benefit-options