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Cape Town - South Africans who have medical aid cover should brace themselves for steep increases next year, with most medical schemes set to hike their contributions by double-digit figures.

The country’s largest open scheme, Discovery Health Medical Scheme, which has about 3 million members, said it would cap its increase at 10.2%, with hikes across its 22 options ranging from 7.8% to 14.9%.

Bonitas, which is the second largest open medical aid, said it would up its contributions by 11.9% across all its options, while Momentum would cap its increases at 11%.

Milton Streak, principal officer of Discovery Health Medical Scheme, said member contribution increases for next year were linked to medical inflation and healthcare tariff increases.

Dr Bobby Ramasia, principal executive officer of Bonitas, said to limit healthcare cost increases, the scheme was implementing cost-containment solutions, including negotiating rates with healthcare providers and hospital groups.

Cape Argus