Medical aids as we know them will disappear by 2026 under the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill released today. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize unveiled the bill today in Pretoria. Under the NHI, the government will provide a package of comprehensive health services for free at private and public health facilities as part of its bid to more equitable access to quality healthcare.
Medical aids will eventually be relegated to providing top-up cover under the NHI – or coverage for procedures or treatment that fall outside government’s package of care. The government, will in turn, become the single largest purchaser of health services in the country, buying them from accredited private and public facilities with a centralised NHI Fund. While comprehensive medical aids are still around, they will also be shifting to standardise a basic coverage package across the industry in line with what’s already on offer in the public sector, Mkhize revealed earlier this week at a Bhekisisa editor’s forum……more