Source: Take up health care cover, Cimas urges | The Herald May 23, 2017
Kudakwashe Mhundwa Business Reporter
CIMAS medical aid society says close to 92 percent of Zimbabwe’s population does not have health care insurance cover. Group chief executive Vulindlela Ndlovu attributed the high rate to a number of reasons including lack of common economic tariff among service providers, hostile operating environment and unfavourable service billing models.
He also said people were reluctant to take up health care insurance due to increasing shortfalls and co-payments, but said Cimas would engage various health practitioners to map a way forward.
“Previously our policy used to say that we cover 70 percent for maternity but the practicality of that meant we used to cover the full hospitalisation cost.
“We have changed that, the aim now is that we do not want anyone to have a shortfall when they go for maternity because we should cover it in full.
“A lot of what we are doing at the moment is engaging the various disciplines to persuade them to work with those costs or where there is a core payment we should know about it and it should also be affordable,” he said.
Cimas is the country’s oldest medical aid company with an estimated market share of 20 percent while Premier Service Medical Aid Society is the largest accounting for 60 percent of the market.
Mr Ndlovu said the company is slowly growing the number of clients, which had declined drastically in the past years.
“In 1999 we reached our peak of 400 000 members, in 2009 the demand begun to decline which saw our lowest membership of only 2 000 members, currently we are building our market share and we have 200 000 members,” he said.
This comes as Government is moving ahead to impose a compulsory National Health Insurance Scheme.
Under the scheme, to be run by National Social Security Authority), subscriptions will be deducted formally from one’s salary, in addition to the Aids Levy, which the authority takes.
Secretary for Labour and Social Welfare Ngoni Masoka earlier this year said Government would fast-track approval of the NHIS, targeted at providing affordable healthcare for majority of Zimbabweans.