The newly released National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill has confirmed that taxes will indeed need to increase in order to fund the new scheme.
The system promises quality health care for all despite one’s socio-economic status.
Here is a simple breakdown of how the fund will affect you in the near future.
What is the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill?
According to the former minister of health, Aaron Motsoaledi, the NHI is a health financing system that pools funds to provide access to quality health services for all South Africans based on their health needs and irrespective of their socio-economic status.
It will need a massive reorganisation of the current health system, both public and private. Its goal is to establish a fund that aims to achieve sustainable and affordable access to health-care services.
How will it affect the average South African?
Dr Anban Pillay, deputy director-general for health regulation and compliance within the national Department of Health, said the universal health coverage was about ensuring that all people have access to the much-needed promotive, curative and rehabilitative health services, while ensuring people don’t suffer financial hardship when paying for such services.
“It’s about leaving no one behind, a commitment to equality, non-discrimination and a human-rights based approach to service provision,” said Pillay.
Will your current medical aid be affected?
Motsoaledi said government subsidies for civil servants and the schemes that are restricted to government employees would eventually be scrapped, as there would be no need for them.
However, those who can afford to pay for medical aids will have an option to top up.
How long will it take until it comes into effect?
According to the NHI Green Paper, NHI will be implemented gradually in three phases over a 14-year period, even though the NHI Bill does not give an actual date of implementation.
The five-year pilot phase on NHI was, however, phased in in April 2012.
The pilots were meant to serve about 10 270 000 people or 20% of the country’s population.
National Treasury has allocated R1 billion for the pilots across 10 districts in South Africa.
Motsoaledi has said on several occasions that the NHI would not be an event where there would be a date of implementation.
Interested parties have three months in which to comment on the bill, which was published at the same time as the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill.