Good news for members of GEMS

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rdability, accessibility and quality of care have long been the driving force behind the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS),” says Liziwe Nkonyana, communications and member affairs executive of the Scheme. “For this reason, we were delighted with the recent 28.5% increase in the employer healthcare funding subsidy for in-service Government employees.” 

“The fact that the employer contribution was backdated to January 2015 is good news for Government employees across the board,” she adds.

GEMS – a positive force in healthcare

Nkonyana notes that “GEMS is the only medical scheme in the country that has made an impact on and inroads into the previously uninsured market”. 

“The positive impact GEMS is having on the medical schemes industry continues to set an example to employers in all sectors of our economy where there is still a need to redress past imbalances,” said Nkonyana.

Here are some interesting facts about GEMS:

• The Scheme has matured into South Africa’s second largest medical scheme.

• It is responsible for 687 694 principal members and approximately 1.84 million lives. 

• 55.7% of all eligible public service employees are enrolled on the Scheme. 

• GEMS remains the fastest-growing medical scheme in South Africa, with the Scheme processing more than 60 000 new applications during 2014. 

• When compared to other medical schemes, the GEMS benefit plans, namely Onyx, Ruby, Emerald, Beryl and Sapphire, are on average 15% less expensive, with similar or increased benefits.

• GEMS remains the largest contributor to the overall growth of the medical scheme sector and represented 20.3% of the sector by the end of 2014. 

• At 7.8%, the non-healthcare expenditure of GEMS, which includes administration costs, is substantially lower than the industry average of 12%.

• Over 12 500 healthcare providers are now registered on the GEMS Network, ensuring that almost 90% of GEMS members are now located within 10 km of a GEMS network provider.

• The average age of GEMS beneficiaries is 30.19.

• The percentage of pensioners covered by the Scheme is 12.72%.

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Originally published in: The Teacher

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