Seeing out 2023, and positively anticipating 2024

Seeing out 2023, and positively anticipating 2024

1 December 2023

As I write this, many of us are wrapping up those final projects and loose ends of the year as we prepare for the December holidays and festive season.

For many South Africans, this past year was a brutal one with many challenges testing our grit on a daily basis. From the ever-present loadshedding that just seems to worsen, to serious floods in certain parts of the country and the cost-of-living crisis, set-backs and hardships were in no short supply.

The National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill that was passed by the National Assembly in June further contributed to uncertainty and concern amongst members of private medical schemes, as well as healthcare professionals and providers. The Bill was recently adopted in the NCoP and will now be sent to the President for his assent. HFA, a medical scheme representative body of which Fedhealth is a member, will petition the President to not sign the Bill but rather refer it back for reconsideration based on a number of constitutional and practical grounds. Many schemes and other civic society bodies will also be petitioning the President as a precursor to bringing Constitutional Court challenges. While the rushed timing of the passage of the Bill is clearly an election ploy, it creates a lot of uncertainty in the industry. Our view remains that notwithstanding the passage of the Bill, and even if the President were to bow to political pressure to assent to the Bill, it would not be implemented in the foreseeable future. As such we continue to pursue our objectives to grow the Scheme and provide cover to our members.

But of course, this year also gave South Africans a record fourth Rugby World Cup victory, with the entire nation rallying behind the Springboks as they brought home the Webb-Ellis trophy for us all to take pride in. It was one of those proud moments in our history as a 29-year-old democracy that fully showcased the beauty of belonging to the rainbow nation.

From a Fedhealth perspective, we look back on our most successful product launch to date, with many brokers who attended the in-person launch in Stellenbosch commending us on a job well done. We were especially excited to launch our very affordable new hospital plan for under-35 digital natives, flexiFEDSavvy , which we believe will enable the digital generation to enter the medical aid market for the first time.

As we continue to innovate and customise our medical aid offering to offer your clients cover that THEY create and control, we are very positive about what 2024 will bring.

I thank you, on behalf of the Trustees and the extended Fedhealth team, for your unwavering support and hard work over the past year. We are fortunate to have some of the best brokers in the business representing the Scheme, and we cannot wait to partner with you in 2024!

May you and your family enjoy a peaceful, happy and healthy festive season – and do travel safe if you’ll be spending the holidays elsewhere.

Jeremy Yatt

Fedhealth Principal Officer

Please note: At the time of issuing this newsletter, we also received confirmation that the Council for Medical Schemes has approved all Fedhealth’s rates and benefits for 2024.

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