Genesis Opposes New Medical Aid Regulations
In a move to ensure the right to access to healthcare that the constitution guarantees every South African is realised, the Department of Health is seeking to change Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs) medical aid regulations. There are 26 chronic diseases and hundreds of other conditions in the PMBs list. And medical schemes must pay for these in full. Even if a member reaches the limit of their cover, PMBs, medical aid regulations aim to ensure that they still enjoy access to healthcare paid for by their scheme. This is in effect what Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi intended when he introduced new rules on payment for PMBs.
Pushback Against Proposed Medical Aid Regulations
Predictably there has been pushback from medical schemes against the medical regulations. And leading the charge is Genesis, one of the country’s leading medical aid schemes. The firm has initiated a court case seeking to have the minister’s regulations overturned. Genesis argue that Motsoaledi does not have the legal authority to dictate terms to medical schemes. He should not be able to tell them how to pay for treatment of PMBs or any other claims. So far the minister has come up with no response to the case. That is even though he has been cited as a respondent. However, indications from his office are that Motsoaledi will not oppose the motion filed by Genesis.
Statement from Department of Health
A statement from his spokesman Joe Maila said the amendments the minister had made to the schemes act will be availed for public scrutiny. He however declined to give details on the amendments. This is the latest twist in the tug of war between medical schemes and the government over the rights of members of these schemes. While the authorities seek, through the Department of Health and the Council for Medical Schemes to help subscribers get full access to care, the schemes are seeking to safeguard their margins against the rising cost of healthcare in the country.