Liberty Medical Scheme gets top score

By Staff Writer
Liberty Medical Scheme (LMS) earned a strong rating of AA- from Global Credit Rating (GCR), reaffirming its solid and stable claims paying ability for its 118 000 beneficiaries. 
 
“The Scheme maintained its solvency level above the statutory requirement, giving members the assurance that their contributions are well managed and taken care of. The rating positions LMS as one of the top performing medical schemes in South Africa,” said LMS executive principal officer, Andrew Edwards.
 
Mark Joffe, head of insurance ratings at GCR, said LMS’s rating was based on the historical and projected financial strength of the scheme.
 
GCR cited the scheme’s integral linkage to the long established Liberty Group as positive, and said the Scheme’s capital reserves and solvency measures continued to register at comfortable levels.
 
Edwards added that the rating confirms the sustainability of LMS going forward.
 
“Through its carefully structured benefit options, LMS remains committed to offering cover for members’ entire healthcare experience. The Scheme also continues to be highly rated on issues such as good leadership and transparency by its members.

LMS’s product offering covers a wide range of benefit options to suit different members and continues to focus on innovation and product enhancement to provide relevant and affordable medical cover,” said Edwards.
 
Amalgamation benefits
 
Edwards added that the scheme’s current amalgamation strategy will go a long way in improving this rating in the long run, as it grows its membership  and offers its members the best possible benefits: always taking their needs into account.
 
In June this year, Liberty Medical Scheme (LMS) and Spectramed Medical Scheme (Spectra) announced their intention to merge. At the time, Edwards said the merger would provide members with the best from both schemes.

He predicted that the merger would result in a stronger market offering. “We will be in a position to enhance what is an already compelling value proposition to members by combining the first class benefits offered by both schemes,” said Edwards.
 
Spectra was an open-scheme with more than 40 000 beneficiaries while Liberty Health, through its subsidiary Vmed, is the administrator for a number of medical schemes including Liberty Medical Scheme and Spectramed.
 
“Not only has the Scheme managed to maintain its claims paying ability at strong levels, but there are also some exciting developments in the pipeline, shortly to be announced. This is expected to provide a platform for future growth,” said Edwards.

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