Bonitas Medical Fund, which celebrates its 40th birthday this year and one of the leading medical schemes in South Africa, has announced its 2023 product line up.
Lee Callakoppen, Principal Officer of Bonitas says, ‘Our average increase for the year would have been 5.9% – well below the current inflation rate of 7.6%. However, we’ve put a price freeze on contributions for the first quarter of 2023. This effectively means an increase of 4.8% over the 12 months. We have also shared what members can expect to pay from 1 April 2023, so that they can make informed decisions.
‘It’s a balancing act between keeping increases as low as possible while maintaining the Scheme’s stability,’ says Callakoppen. By applying low contribution increases since December 2020, the Scheme has effectively passed R1.4 billion in savings to members.
The Scheme is financially stable with over R7.4 billion in reserves. We have also signed up over 190 000 new members in the last 36 months. The average age of these new members is around 15 years younger than the current membership – proof that we are attracting a younger, healthier profile, something which is coveted across the industry.
The future of healthcare is around primary and preventative care. There is a rise in non-communicable or lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. 80% of which are caused by lifestyle risk factors. This is why we offer a range of Managed Care programmes to help members understand and manage their conditions.
Last year, we announced our partnership with the South African Oncology Consortium, to enhance our cancer programme including screening for early detection, treatment and palliative care. For 2023, we have restructured benefits to be unlimited for PMB cancers, on all options.
Data from the South African Health Quality Assessment, shows that Bonitas has an effective disease management programme and better outcomes than the industry standard for diabetic members. In 2023 we introduce an annual benefit of R51 000 per family for an insulin pump or continuous glucose monitor for type 1 diabetics under 18 years.
We will introduce an innovative digital solution, Panda, from October 2022 to support our members in managing their mental wellness. The free app offers everything from audio sessions with peers and mental health experts to one-on-one virtual consultations with professionals. We encourage our members to complete an online mental health questionnaire to assess their mental health status.
Launched last year, the Benefit Booster is aimed at supporting our preventative care strategy. It unlocked R446 million in additional benefits for members to extend their day-to-day benefits. For 2023, we are adjusting the benefit limits in line with utilisation with enhancements seen on several plans.
Designated Service Provider (DSP)
We implement networks to negotiate the most favourable tariffs for our members so they can avoid out-of-pocket expenses and get more value. This includes:
- A GP network of over 4 400 practices
- A pharmacy network, with around 2 500 practices to dispense chronic, acute and over-the-counter medicine, through Scriptpharm
- DENIS, our dental network, provides access to around 3 000 practices
- An optical network of over 2 300 practices, through PPN
Our medicines formulary is aligned to the WHO’s Essential Medicines List (EDL) to promote affordability and accessibility to clinically approved medicines, in support of medicine adherence.
The Hospital-at-Home service brings all the essential elements of in-hospital care to a patient’s home, without moving away from evidence-based clinical protocols and state-of-the-art 24hr vital sign monitoring. In 2023 we include: A programme for re-admissions, screening and disease prevention, an alternative to step-down facilities and kidney dialysis at home.
We’ve amended our rules to allow members to use their savings as they deem fit for the new year and increased savings by up to 9.4%, depending on the plan selected.
Exclusive offers and discounts
With the current economic challenges facing the country, we know everyone is constantly looking for added value and ways to save money every month. For 2023, we’ve partnered with top providers for exclusive offers across a range of categories including: Lifestyle, wellness, gap cover, short-term insurance, life insurance and credit solutions.
As South Africans face increased challenges around inflation, fuel and electricity hikes we remain committed to providing quality healthcare, at affordable prices, while ensuring the sustainability of the Scheme.