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Bestmed prioritises preventative, accessible healthcare for 2024

03 October 2023 Bestmed Medical Scheme

Bestmed Medical Scheme announces preventative care, wellness and product range enhancements, with a continued focus on value-for-money offerings for members in 2024 and beyond.

Bestmed Medical Scheme, South Africa’s largest self-administered medical scheme and fourth largest open medical scheme in the country, has announced a series of enhancements to its existing product range, wellness and preventative care benefits. It has also launched a new product, Beat3 Plus, which reflects the Scheme’s continuous commitment to quality, affordable and comprehensive care.

The announcements follow the Scheme’s reported 10.6% growth in principal membership in 2023, marking the fourth consecutive year of consistent growth for Bestmed that is above the market average, while the industry’s growth remains low.

The Scheme offers peace of mind that its solvency remained strong at 41,73% (as at 31 December 2022), compared to the minimum statutory requirement of 25%. It has also been able to attract a younger audience resulting in a steady decline in average beneficiary age, and further reports that non-healthcare expenses remain significantly lower than that of the other large open schemes in the country.

“This year, Bestmed’s key focus was ensuring minimal changes to our benefit options to maintain benefit richness while providing enhanced preventative care and wellness benefits across our Rhythm, Beat and Pace product ranges,” said Leo Dlamini, CEO and Principal Officer at Bestmed Medical Scheme. “As we embark on our 60th year of providing quality healthcare to South Africans, we remain strongly committed to our Personally Yours promise, delivering exceptional healthcare solutions and improving the lives of now more than 240 000 beneficiaries.”

The enhancements to its product ranges intend to maintain the value-for-money that members have become accustomed to. For instance, the insertion of a Mirena or other intrauterine device (IUD) will now also be paid for from preventative care benefits on the Rhythm options, as well as the majority of the Beat plans. Moreover, the Scheme will pay pap smear consultation fees in addition to the pathology cost for selected options, as well as glaucoma screenings for beneficiaries 50 years and older as a preventative care benefit, at a contracted optometrist, once per year. These are in addition to Bestmed’s highly competitive range of complimentary preventative care benefits, including flu, pneumonia and travel vaccines, female contraceptives and dental care.

The Scheme’s out-of-hospital radiology benefits are enhanced by including one lumbar and cervical spine region scan to the specialised diagnostic imaging (MRI scans, CT scans, isotope studies and PET scans) benefit across all options, except the Rhythm range.

Bestmed will also launch Beat3 Plus in 2024, offering a 25% annual savings account. This option was developed for members who want comprehensive in-hospital cover along with rich preventative care benefits and more savings to cover their day-to-day healthcare needs. The option is easy to understand and members can carry their savings over to the next year.

“The enhancements and options place more control in members’ hands, allowing them to plan and budget more effectively around their unique healthcare needs,” adds Dlamini.

With the sustainability of the Scheme being a major priority in preserving the richness of Bestmed’s preventative care and maternity benefits, a 9.6% average weighted contribution increase was announced, effective on 1 January 2024. This follows on from lower increases during the pandemic as Bestmed sought to minimise the impact of economic challenges brought on by COVID-19 on its members, while ensuring minimal changes to the existing benefits at the time.

In line with Bestmed’s commitment to maternity care and the prevention of maternal and neo-natal mortality, the Scheme’s comprehensive maternity benefits are accessible to members across all Bestmed’s product ranges, providing quality prenatal, delivery and postnatal care, while reducing risks to both mothers and babies. Bestmed’s maternity benefits include check-ups, screenings, antenatal supplements and necessary medical interventions. Paediatric immunisations (not included on Beat1), and three baby growth and development assessments for beneficiaries up to two years of age are included as preventative care benefits.

Keeping with the theme of wellness, Bestmed has introduced a range of interactive online tools as part of its Tempo wellness offering to enable members to cultivate a healthier lifestyle. Members now have access to their Tempo Get Active (Fitness), Nutritional Health, and Emotional Wellbeing Journeys via the Tempo portal on the Bestmed App and Member portal on the Bestmed website. Members can set personal wellness goals, track exercise activity, access mental health resources, and make dietary improvements under the guidance of a Tempo dietitian.

“The Tempo Wellness programme has been bolstered by the additional features and functionalities that speak to the heart of our commitment to preventative care. We are empowering members to lead an informed and healthy lifestyle that is Personally Yours,” says Dlamini.

As members’ healthcare needs and expectations continue to evolve, Bestmed says that it is committed to ensuring its offerings remain advantageous and competitive, while maintaining the integrity and continuity of the Scheme into 2024 and beyond.

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