THIS article serves to provide you with some useful medical aid/insurance information in order for you to access the financial impact the implementation of a medical scheme for 2012 will have on your company or organisation.
Medical scheme benefits run from January 1 to December 31 of every year.
In Lesotho, pension and medical aid contributions may be deducted before tax, provided that the total does not exceed 20 percent of the employee’s gross salary for both benefits collectively.
Furthermore, the company’s contribution towards medical aid should be the same for all employees (Refer to the Income Tax Act 1993).
Sechaba Healthcare, Lesotho (Pty) Ltd is the oldest and largest independent medical scheme broker in Lesotho. It has been operating since 1966.
We are brokers for both Momentum and Medshield Medical Schemes.
Momentum, at present, is the largest and most popular medical scheme in Lesotho with close on 10 000 members.
Momentum is part of the First Rand Group and has recently merged with Metropolitan to form MMI making it the third largest insurance company after Old Mutual and Sanlam.
This makes Momentum a strong and reliable financial partner. Momentum provides Network as well as Fee-for-Service Medical Scheme Options in Lesotho.
In short, a Network option limits the medical scheme cardholder to certain medical service providers and services within a geographical area (e.g. Lesotho) while the Fee-for-Service option allows the medical scheme cardholder to use his/her card freely in the RSA and Lesotho.
Our experience, over the years, has been that the majority of Lesotho employees can pay for their own day-to-day expenses.
However, any form of private hospitalisation is expensive and unaffordable to most employees resulting in employees requesting financial assistance from the employer for hospital costs.
We thus recommend, as a start, an available low cost Momentum Hospital option for the employee only, since the company’s first obligation is towards the health of its employees.
Their family is a secondary obligation.
Since many of your staff work in an environment which could lead to injury, the low cost option would ensure that your employees have access to first world medical care on a comprehensive basis and that they do not request financial assistance from the employer when experiencing medical problems.
The low cost option is essentially a Hospitalisation Option making use of all private hospitals in Lesotho as well as the Medi-clinic in Bloemfontein and Bethlehem. Please note that with the opening of the new Netcare private hospital in Lesotho all members will have an excellent private hospitalisation facility in Maseru itself.
In terms of cost we provide the following information as an example and for budget purposes only: 2011 member contributions are based on gross salary and vary from M230 per month (salary <M3 500 pm) to M310 per month (salary >M3
500 pm). The above amounts are for a 100 percent company subsidy.
At the minimum acceptable norm of a 50 percent company subsidy, half the above monthly premiums are applicable that is M115 and M155 per month respectively to both the employer and employee. The rates quotes may increase for 2012.
Medical aid/insurance benefits are usually discussed with the employees before their yearly increase and taken into consideration when calculating their salary increases. Apart from the low cost options used as an example above there are another five options on offer with benefits and premiums suited to meet the needs of every employee.
We trust that this information will be of value to you should you contemplate medical aid benefits for your staff for 2012.
For more information contact Mamofolo Sephachana on: 2232 1898 (office) or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Rudi Bak same office number or e-mail email@example.com