25 Mar 2016 11:50am
WINDHOEK, 25 MAR (NAMPA) The Ministry of Finance plans to increase member contributions to the Public Service Employee Medical Aid Scheme (PSEMAS) in the 2017/18 financial year.
The increase will see employees contribute 20 per cent of the actual expenditure of the PSEMAS cost while Government will cover the remaining 80 per cent, Deputy Minister of Finance Natangue Ithete announced said in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Currently, members contribute five per cent and Government the remaining 95 per cent.
Ithete made the announcement while introducing his ministry's budget allocation of N.dollars 3.29 billion for the 2016/17 financial year.
PSEMAS is a voluntary scheme with a current membership of 269 850, including dependents. It has two options - the standard option for which members contribute N.dollars 120 monthly, and the high option which comes with a monthly contribution of N.dollars 240.
Ithete said the administration of PSEMAS is one of the overall cross-cutting government programmes coordinated by his ministry.
It thus remains the ministry's role to ensure the effective coordination and management of the medical aid scheme through the registration of members and the coordinating of member services and administration of the benefits.
He further said the ministry has requested N.dollars 2.1 billion for the 2016/17 financial year to manage and control the cost of health care by implementing a Medical Claims Management System (MCMS) that will make use of a biometric smart card for more effective management and administration of PSEMAS.
The card will ensure that beneficiaries are positively identified; proof of presence is assured and medical expenditure is authorised in accordance with scheme rules and benefits.
We are hopeful that the introduction of the biometric system will reduce expenditure related to health care, the deputy minister said.
Ithete further added that the ministry has also envisaged to review the current service provider contract and strengthen the audit capacity of PSEMAS that will look into irregular claiming patterns, while current contracts will be honoured.
During the 2015/16 financial year, the government spent about N.dollars 2 billion on PSEMAS.
It spent N.dollars 1,7 billion on the medical aid scheme in 2014/15; N.dollars 1,5 billion in 2013/14 and N.dollars 1.2 billion in the 2012/13 financial year.