Changes to Medical Aid Schemes Bill aim to do away with brokers

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says brokers only make medical aids more expensive, meaning the poor suffer most.

FILE: Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says an amendment to the Medical Aid Schemes Bill aims to abolish the practice of using brokers within the medical scheme environment.

Motsoaledi made the announcement during a briefing in Pretoria on Thursday.

He says brokers only make medical aids more expensive, meaning the poor suffer most.

Motsoaledi says almost two-thirds of principal members of medical aid schemes pay a monthly amount to a broker as part of their premium.

The minister says this is an unnecessary cost.

“What are brokers doing? Are they necessary? We would’ve left them if there were no financial hardships attended to their being there.”

He says billions of rands are used to pay brokers and this money should be used to rather make medical aid more affordable.

“The total amount paid to brokers by members of the medical scheme, many of them without their knowledge is now R2.2 billion. We want this money to be available, to pay for direct health expenses of members.”

There is a total of 10 amendments to the bill, including the abolishment of co-payments, which Motsoaledi says could rather be funded by the billions used to pay brokers.

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(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)