African Reserves

Redefining health in 2022

Bonitas Medical Fund’s 2022 product line includes the use of reserves to keep contribution increases low, a Benefit Booster to extend daily benefits, a revised international travel benefit with payment for Covid tests and a contribution at quarantine costs. Emphasis is also placed on preventive care, virtual consultations and plans that allow more South Africans to have access to affordable and quality health care.

Lee Callaoppen, CEO of Bonitas, said: “The program has performed well in a volatile market, thanks to proactive risk management and prudent board decisions. A positive consequence of the pandemic has been an increased appreciation of the importance of medical aid coverage, which has resulted in better than expected member retention and membership growth of 2.3% since January.

Membership changes

“We have made the strategic decision to use around R600 million in reserves to ensure that 82% of members receive a contribution increase below the CPI for benefit year 2022. The innovative Benefit Booster equates to a increase in day-to-day benefits for members ranging from 16% to 32%, depending on the membership plan. We believe this is the biggest benefit increase ever in the medical aid industry. ‘


There will be a total of 15 plans for the coming year, comprising traditional, savings, hospital, peak (virtual), network and income-based plans, each carefully crafted with a specific mix of benefits. to attract various target markets.

The increases range from minus -7.9% to 6.5%. Bonitas has chosen to increase its options which are currently in the growth phase – BonSave, BonFit and BonEssential – by only 3.6%.

Sustainability and affordability

The Medical Schemes Council (CMS) has recommended CPI-compliant increases of 4.2% with the caveat that the financial stability and sustainability of plans must remain a priority. We believe that using part of our reserves to protect members against rising costs is an appropriate strategy.

The weighted average contribution increase for all plans is 4.8%, with the BonStart premium decreasing by 7.9%, which can be attributed to the low cost / benefit ratio and profile of the younger plan members. The decrease in the contribution is an industry first, as is the decision to offer BonFit Select at a 0% increase in 2020.

First line changes

  • An additional virtual plan, BonStart Plus, aimed to attract a new member profile through this diverse distribution channel and attractive pricing. Virtual care has proven to be a solid and reliable solution, locally and internationally, to improve access to quality health care and is now offered in the 15 Bonitas plans.
  • The introduction of a new oncology management program that uses a partnership between Medscheme Managed Healthcare and the South African Oncology Consortium (SAOC), to improve the coordination of care of oncology patients.
  • Offer the back and neck program – which has a 93% success rate – on a digital platform. The eDBC app is a technology-driven channel offering digital coaching and home care solutions to help improve pain and mobility. It includes a self-assessment, basic progress checks and an outcome evaluation.
  • Improvements to the existing benefit for international travel, which includes a Covid-19 PCR test before and after travel, as well as a contribution of up to R1,000 for forced quarantine.
  • A new personalized AMP wellness and lifestyle program is now available on the new Bonitas app. It allows members to access their health information. Biometric data, complaints and wearable data are used to regularly update their health score as an avatar pushes them towards the best steps to improve their health. Additionally, through a partnership with Nedbank AVO, members can access discounts and offers from over 7,000 merchants.

The path to follow

The future of the Plan remains: Quality care for members; the affordability of contributions and the financial viability of the Plan. Our members remain at the heart of our interactions and we actively strive to find ways to amplify value and drive business development.

Our focus on care, capacity and reliability not only encompasses providing our members with the tools and preventative measures to guard against chronic disease, but helps us redefine healthcare for a new world. DM / BM

Photo of Lee Callakoppen, Senior Officer


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