Bonitas Medical Fund has reached an agreement with the Life Hospital Group to waive the 30% co-payment on hospital admissions for the scheme’s members. This co-payment previously impacted 14 demarcated hospitals.
Gerhard Van Emmenis, acting principal officer of Bonitas Medical Fund, said: “Shortly after we informed our members of the 30% co-payment, Life Hospital Group re-considered their stance.”
Van Emmenis added: “Part of our hospital strategy to reduce the burden of escalating healthcare costs for our members, was successful. We just wish that this could have been raised during negotiations. Last year we negotiated with the three largest hospital groups in South Africa with a view to creating a network of designated service providers (DSPs) to ensure the lowest possible increases, to keep costs down while maintaining the sustainability of the Scheme. A hospital network allows the scheme to negotiate preferential tariffs with participating hospitals, this then assists in ensuring quality and affordable healthcare for our members.”
During the negotiations last year, Bonitas and Life Healthcare failed to reach a favourable deal across all of Life Healthcare’s facilities. As a result, 14 of the Group’s hospitals were excluded from being DSPs.
“This meant that members could go to other network hospitals in their area or pay a 30% co-payment if admitted to one of the 14 excluded Life Hospitals. The 14 hospitals are situated in major metropolitan areas, where there are a number of similar alternative facilities available, within a short distance, where no co-payment would be incurred,” explained Bonitas.
However, the co-payment has since been waived, so Bonitas members can now visit these 14 hospitals, as like the other DSPs, without needing to pay the 30% co-payment.