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SUB CATEGORIES General  |  HIV |  Medical Schemes | 

Liberty Medical Scheme offers first-of-its-kind cover for crime victims

28 February 2007 Liberty Life / Protactic Strategic Communications

Liberty Medical Scheme is tackling the issue of crime head-on by offering a hard-working crime trauma benefit, which makes it the only medical scheme in the country to do so.

This proactive approach is well-founded, if one considers a recent study by Target Group Index (TGI) which found that the vast majority of South Africans say they are "worried" about violence and crime irrespective of their economic status, age or race.

This is not surprising when you consider that according to the Institute for Security Studies, between 2005 and 2006, 54 926 rapes, 119 726 robberies with aggravating circumstances (of which 12 825 were car-jackings) and 226 942 assaults with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm were reported to the South African Police Service.

"These kinds of findings represent a clear call for relevant, real life benefits that add value to our members' lives," explains Liberty Life Divisional Director for Healthcare, Stephen Maasch.

This is especially relevant when one considers that despite many South Africans being exposed to traumatic crime on a daily basis, they rarely think about using their medical aid unless they are admitted to hospital. This has mainly been due to the limited cover on offer until now.

The Liberty Medical Scheme Crime Trauma benefit has been designed to assist scheme members and their dependants in covering the often exorbitant medical costs incurred as a result of being a victim of crime.

Traumatic events such as a hijacking, attempted murder, robbery or sexual assault are all covered. Significantly the benefit also covers the cost of counselling, as well as HIV Prophylaxis in the event of rape.

"We saw counselling as a key component as crime victims are often only treated for their physical injuries, with little thought given to the long-term mental trauma they can experience," stresses Maasch.

The real success of the Crime Trauma benefit, believes Maasch, lies in offering quality assistance in a stressful situation.  "We need to make people aware of our crime trauma benefit, so that they can use it when they need it most," he concludes.

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