Medical claims up 300 %


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Hyperinflation and the country’s inability to generate foreign currency has had a disastrous effect on medical inflation with claims costs going up by three to four times the rate of inflation, one of the country’s largest medical aid societies, CIMAS, says in its annual report for June.

It says that because of the unavailability of foreign currency it was forced to suspend the issuing of letters of guarantee to clients who were seeking specialist treatment outside the country.

Claims costs had gone up by between 200 and 300 percent forcing the society to increase contributions quarterly.

Despite the economic hardships and declining employment, CIMAS says its membership grew by 1.6 percent from 404 401 to 411 135. The society made a surplus of $966 million down from $1.3 billion the previous year.

In current cost terms, however, it made a loss of $1.9 billion against a surplus of $1.2 billion the previous year.

The medical aid division only made a surplus of $19.1 million, down from $164.6 million the previous year.

It made a loss of $410.4 million in current cost terms against a surplus of $484 million the previous year.

The society says contributions will have to be increased substantially to ensure that revenue will adequately cover the cost of claims and operations.

CIMAS Medical Laboratories and Harare Haemodialysis made a surplus of $31.6 million, down from $148.7 million in current cost terms.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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