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Another successful year for Fedhealth

26 June 2014 Phil Hemus, Fedhealth
Despite continuing South African economic challenges for all schemes, Fedhealth has continued to make progress said Fedhealth Chairman Phil Hemus.

Despite continuing South African economic challenges for all schemes, Fedhealth has continued to make progress said Fedhealth Chairman Phil Hemus.

Addressing members yesterday at the 78th AGM of Fedhealth, Fedhealth Chairman Phil Hemus said that despite continuing South African economic challenges for all schemes, Fedhealth has continued to make progress.

The scheme's Principal Officer, Peter Jordan, noted the scheme had recorded a gross underwriting surplus of R277 million as well as a net surplus of R18 million for 2013.

Fedhealth's solvency ratio remains just above 40%, which is amongst the highest in the open scheme market. The scheme has also managed to maintain strict control over its non-healthcare expenditure, resulting in this cost component being limited to 10.7% of gross contributions. Jordan said membership had dropped slightly over the period, however the average age beneficiary had increased by one year which was positive. The scheme also managed to retain its AA- independent credit rating.

Hemus continued by saying that health and healthcare remained one of the biggest challenges in the world today, particularly in South Africa's emerging market economy where we are faced with ever increasing costs in healthcare. "The heavily regulated medical schemes environment also presents many challenges," says Hemus noting that this was compounded by the subdued South African economy which offers limited job growth and thus increasingly impacts on the numbers of young individuals who are able to join a medical scheme. He said this magnified the problem of an ageing medical scheme member profile. "To address many of these issues, we accordingly welcome the Competition Commission's market enquiry into the healthcare sector."

2013 saw the scheme implement some significant benefit enhancements. The increased strategic focus on member's health through living a healthy and balanced lifestyle was reinforced with the introduction of screening benefits and focussed wellness and nutrition initiatives. Hemus said moving forward the Trustees have committed to innovation to create value, not only in products and services but in all areas of the business. "This will enable us to meet future challenges and think proactively."

On the technological front, 2013 saw the scheme making great inroads into the digital domain and confirmed Fedhealth was committed to engaging online with its members with quality digital content.
Commenting on future sustainability, Hemus says the success of the network strategy introduced at the beginning of 2011 continued to benefit the scheme and members alike with Fedhealth now boasting one of the most comprehensive specialist provider networks in South Africa. "Relationships between Fedhealth and healthcare professionals will remain key in 2014 to help consistently drive efficiencies and improve health outcomes," he concludes.

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