The 2017 South African Customer Satisfaction Index (Sacsi) for medical schemes, drawn up by Consulta and released at the end of September, shows that member satisfaction with schemes continues to decline, with the exception of Discovery Health Medical Scheme and Medihelp.

With an overall Sacsi score of 74.8, Discovery was above the industry average of 74.2. Its score improved slightly from 74.1 in both 2014 and 2015. Discovery overtook Liberty Health, which merged with Bonitas during 2016. The survey was not conducted in 2016.

Medihelp achieved a Sacsi score of 72.6, significantly up from 70.7 in 2015.

Members of the Government Employees Medical Scheme (Gems) are the least satisfied with their scheme, according to the index. Gems’s score fell from 74.3 in 2014 to 64.3 in 2017.

Bonitas scored 73.1, which was 2.1 points down from its 2015 score and almost three points down from its 2014 score. Momentum fell to 72.2 from 75.6 in 2015. 

Consulta chief executive Professor Adré Schreuder says Sasci surveys show that the medical schemes industry has one of the lowest satisfaction scores, because medical scheme contributions are one of South Africans’ highest monthly expenses. 

“Industry premiums increased by around 8% to 10%, which is well above inflation. Expectations around value for money will come under even more pressure when consumers are expected to contribute to the government’s proposed National Health Insurance scheme if it is launched as expected in the coming years,” Schreuder says.