1 October 2018, Gallagher Convention Centre set the stage for an exciting 2019 Benefit Launch. Themed, “No matter the journey, we’ve got your beat,” was yet another unique and innovative approach to launching the new benefits. And being Umvuzo, there were more significant announcements made entailing positive alterations to existing benefits.
Alan Fritz, Umvuzo’s Sales and Distribution Manager, welcomed attendees, followed by Principal Officer, Oosie Oosthuizen who mentioned without disclosing too much, that Umvuzo has never run at a loss and the reserves of the Scheme are so strong, it can easily carry a 25 million income growth without going below the 25% statutory requirement. Chairperson, Frans Nkosi, then added, “You spoke, we listened,” referring to the Scheme stakeholders and the innovative decisions pertaining to the changes made by the Board of Trustees.
Head of Marketing, Busi Roberts then addressed what everyone was eagerly waiting to hear and presented the benefit changes and increases which were received with applause. The Extreme Option aimed at high income earners, saw a 7.99% increase, the Supreme Option aimed at mid to high income earners saw a 7.89% increase, the Standard Option aimed at middle income earners saw a 9% increase, the Ultra Affordable Option (below R5 700) saw an 8% increase and the Ultra Affordable saw a 9.97% increase. The average increase for 2019 was then announced at a mere 8.5%.
New news pertaining to the Ultra Affordable Value Option and alterations to improve the Activator Option was announced. The Ultra Affordable Value Option which also comes with an above and below income bracket of R5 700, sees main members on ‘below’ only paying R809 monthly. Each beneficiary on this Option must choose one GP from the Universal Health network and make use of a wide range of DSP hospitals. The all new Activator being a hybrid between capitation and fee-for-service Option was unpacked and warmly welcomed. Benefit-rich with a premium of only R1 295 per main member. Further news was the removal of limits on the number of days in ICU and high care on all Options, no limit on hospitalisation on all Options and child dependant age increased to 26yrs (full-time student). Along with this news it was also said that all Umvuzo members will receive a brand new medical bag every 5 years.
That was not the end of it! As the formalities were concluded, attendees each received a djembe (hand drum) and were taught to play to a beat and to visualise passion and prosperity in the work place. No space for blue Mondays! Refreshments in the form of waffles, pancakes and pastries were served.
With only well received and positive changes and a very competitive one-digit increase, Umvuzo has most certainly set the industry’s beat!