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New UMA Wesmart brings quality and affordable alternatives to South Africa’s health insurance offerings

13 November 2014 Genric

In an environment where healthcare offered by the state and traditional medical aid products cannot keep pace with the ever-increasing cost of medical services, new underwriting management agency (UMA) Wesmart Financial and Administration Solutions (Pty) Ltd brings a suite of much-needed, affordable and proven healthcare insurance solutions to the market.

Wesmart, a juristic representative of GENRIC Insurance Company, administers the Docsure short-term health insurance product range, which is tailored to the needs of corporate employers, individuals and families. The policies are underwritten by GENRIC.

“Docsure is aimed at every and all South African consumers and has been designed to help cover the possible gaps that exist in their current medical aid cover, or to give consumers with no medical aid whatsoever a financial safety net when they have to pay for healthcare services,” Martin Rimmer, CEO of Wesmart, says.

Over-burdened system

Rimmer, who has almost 20 years experience in the healthcare industry, notes that South Africa’s existing healthcare system is under strain. Only about 8 million South Africans are registered beneficiaries of private medical aid schemes in a country of roughly 56 million people.

“We have 46 million people who have to deal with medical costs by relying on primary healthcare provided by the state, which is limited and over-burdened, or having to dig deep into their own pockets to cover their costly medical bills,” he adds.

For those who are part of medical aid schemes, annual premium increases are rising at a faster pace than CPI inflation rates, making it increasingly challenging for medical aid members to keep up with the rising costs of their schemes. Consumers are often faced with steep medical bills when their benefits are depleted on their medical aid plans. As a result, many people find themselves in financial dire straits, and with that the threat of possible litigation and blacklisting if unable to settle their debt.

“Many consumers are in a tough spot for at least a part of any given financial year when it comes to meeting the cost of medical services,” Rimmer explains. “It is plain that consumers have very few options when it comes to access to healthcare in the South African market. Now Docsure provides consumers with more alternatives. The Docsure products give consumers cash in hand when they are faced with possible shortfalls once their medical aid benefits have been depleted, or cash in the hands of those consumers who simply cannot afford, or have no access to traditional healthcare funding models.”

The Docsure products ensure that insured parties can recover some of their healthcare expenses by paying out cash to the insured parties for basic primary medical care, including basic consultations with general practitioners (GPs) and dentists, as well as for hospital events within stated annual benefit limits.

Different cash benefit options are available, depending on the requirements of the insured and based on premiums. This policy is a very good solution for the corporate employer market, especially employers of lower LSM employees.

Docsure Health is a more comprehensive short-term insurance policy, giving cash to the insured to recover costs related to primary healthcare, as well as tertiary care costs, such as hospitalisation, within a stated benefit structure. The policy comes with different options designed around each insured’s individual needs within a tiered premium structure.

Backed by GENRIC Insurance

Wesmart’s policies offer consumers peace of mind since the UMA’s products are underwritten by short-term niche insurer GENRIC Insurance, an authorised financial services provider with solid reinsurance backing and a strong track record in the health insurance industry.

“The benefits of having an institution like GENRIC having your back as an UMA are huge,” Rimmer notes. “Policy holders know that they are dealing with a company that has a solid balance sheet, and GENRIC has a reputation for understanding the niche risks well.”

As part of GENRIC’s strategy to closer support and align its family of UMAs, the insurer has taken up a controlling equity shareholding in its new Wesmart UMA.

“We are very excited about having Wesmart and Martin on board,” Cornel Schoeman, Chief Commercial Officer at GENRIC, says. “There is a place for Docsure and Docsure Health in a market where consumers have very few alternatives. GENRIC’s equity share in the UMA is a further demonstration of the confidence we hold in Martin, his team and in these products.”

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