The premiums of the first medical assistance mutual increase by 35%

the herald

Africa Moyo Senior Business Journalist
FIRST Mutual Health is set to increase monthly medical aid premiums by 35% beginning March 1, 2019, as it seeks to keep pace with spiraling drug and hospitalization costs.

In a letter to business customers dated January 29, First Mutual said it had incurred too many costs over the past four months because it had to pay more to service providers, who had arbitrarily raised prices.

reads the letter; “Over the past four months, we have seen a significant increase in the cost of health services.

“Drug and other costs have increased by more than 300% while hospitalization costs have increased by at least 100%. The program absorbed the costs while continuing to engage service providers in an effort to find a viable solution.

“However, we have noted that our members are still facing card acceptance challenges and gaps. Moreover, we are aware that our service providers also face the same increasing costs and we want to reimburse them in a fair and sustainable way.

“Given the need to continue to offer a service that meets your expectations, we will increase contributions by 35% as of March 1, 2019.”

Some doctors and hospitals initially rejected medical aid cards in favor of US dollars. But after government intervention, service providers simply indexed their fees to the parallel market rate for the US dollar.