Companies & Markets - Featured - March 11, 2021

Medical societies increase fees

Zimbabwean medical aid societies have hiked contributions for members paying in local currency.

Some of the schemes have increased contributions by more than 100 percent for both corporate and individuals.
Even though some medical aid societies are yet to review member contributions, patients forking out extra money to cover shortfalls.

The Association of Healthcare Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFoZ) chief executive Ms Shylet Sanyanga said medical aid societies had not effected the applicable reviews to contributions when the country migrated from using the United States dollar hence the continued upward reviews.

“When the country migrated from the use of the US dollar to the Zimbabwe dollar, medical aid societies did not convert the USD contributions that were applicable at the time in line with the exchange rate.

“This would have resulted in sudden steep increases in member contributions. On the other hand, many healthcare service providers maintained their US dollar fees and they have been applying the parallel exchange rate for conversion,” she said.

She said this mismatch in conversion rates had resulted in the shortfalls that patients were being asked to pay at the point of care.

“Medical aid societies are adjusting contributions to try and catch -up with healthcare service provider rates, in order to narrow or eliminate the shortfall gap.

Most medical aid contribution rates are lower than they were during the US dollar era, whereas healthcare fees have been maintained at their previous US dollar levels,” Sanyanga said.

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