Cimas membership increases 8 percent

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CIMAS,the country’s oldest and largest medical aid company, says its members grew by eight percent to 191,000 for the year ending December 2012.
The company attributed the membership boost to the return of some affiliates who had left after allegedly experiencing poor service from the players they had joined.
Cimas said several returned after some of the new players folded after failing to cope with a tough operating environment characterised by liquidity constraints, high cost of capital and short term nature of available credit.
During the period under review, total contribution income amounted to US$83,5 million representing a 17 percent increase from 2011.
“Claims paid, at US$73,7 million, represented an 88 percent claims-loss ratio. This ratio has remained static over the past two years,” said Cimas chairman Steve Kuipa.
He said the international norm of 80 percent has not been achieved since the economy was formally dollarized in January 2009.
“This worrisome trend would require an upward review of contribution rates,” said Kuipa.
Kuipa said the cost of healthcare in Zimbabwe was the highest in the region with members continuing to experience shortfalls in the treatment of certain conditions.
“While negotiations are still on-going on common tariffs between service providers and healthcare funders, Cimas has made arrangements with hospitals in the region and as far afield as India, to enable members to access service with minimal or no shortfalls. Efforts to expand this network will be intensified this year,” said Kuipa.
Kuipa said Cimas’ chronic disease add-on membership had rebounded with the product witnessing a growth of 17 percent to 45 000 as at December 31, 2012.
“The society’s consolidated revenue grew by 16 percent to US$97,5 million in the year under review. This growth was underpinned mainly by membership growth.
“The surplus for the year also grew by 78 percent on 2011. The reserve weeks for the year improved marginally to six weeks following high claims costs in the period,” said Kuipa.
Patient numbers have grown by 12 percent from 103 359 in 2011.
“This growth can be attributed to increased contact meetings with Zimbabwe Medical Association doctors in order to build confidence in the laboratory brand. New equipment installed at the branches will enable 90 percent of the tests to be performed on site, thus improving the turnaround time for results,” he said.Advertisement

“The chemotherapy joint venture (St Clements Clinic) continues to experience an increase in patient numbers. The average number of patients has increased from 42 in 2011 to 68 in 2012. This small operation is now in a healthy financial state and continues to provide an essential service to our membership in need.”