National Health Insurance (NHI)

Will the NHI affect you? Yes, but not yet.

As you may have seen in the press lately, the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill was tabled in Parliament on 8 August 2019.

The concept of an NHI that assists in strengthening and improving the healthcare system for all South Africans cannot be faulted, and most stakeholders in the private healthcare industry are voicing commitment to help build the NHI and to make it workable and sustainable.

The key concern for many, however, is how the Bill deals with the current medical scheme system in our country. In its current shape, the Bill proposes that, under the NHI, medical schemes will play a far smaller role in South African healthcare, as they will only be allowed to provide ‘complementary’ or ‘top-up’ coverage for services not covered by the NHI.

As a restricted Scheme exclusively developed to meet our specific members’ needs, we are obviously concerned about some of the ramifications of the Bill. We also understand why our members may be concerned about the impact the Bill could have on their future healthcare provision.

At this stage there is still too much uncertainty to be able to provide members with clear-cut answers to their potential concerns about NHI – no-one really knows exactly how this will all play out.

WHAT WE DO KNOW AT THIS STAGE

  • The next step is for the Bill to go through the normal parliamentary process, including public participation, before being put before the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, and then being signed by the President and enacted.
  • The planned implementation date for the NHI is 2026.

We will continue to keep you updated on developments around the NHI, and how the Scheme plans to move forward in this regard, to the benefit of our members.

FURTHER READING

In the meantime, we encourage you to read widely among existing press statements on NHI, to form a balanced view of the situation: