The Council of Medical Schemes is considering dissolving 29 medical schemes that have fewer than 6,000 members to better cross-subsidise risk. The Medical Schemes Act mandates that a scheme must have 6,000 or more members to be registered as a scheme (but it does not mandate that the scheme has to maintain this level of membership).
There are 31 schemes that could thus be dissolved or amalgamated, three of which are open to the public (Cape Medical, Makoti and ). The remaining 28 schemes are closed funds, that are available only to members via their employer.
What does this mean for you?
There is no need to panic. The CMS has given itself until the end of January 2018 to start formulating a plan on how (if?) this could be achieved. It is possible that there will be legal objections from some of the schemes. Regardless of how things proceed, if you are a member of one of these small schemes you can rest assured that you will not be “hung out to dry” and that the CMS will try to come up with a solution that is not at all detrimental to the beneficiaries.
Nevertheless, if you are able to change schemes, it would be wise to start exploring your options in about November, when the new benefits for 2018 are released. You might find a perfect home for yourself with one of the larger schemes.