Demographic and economic trends in medical schemes--a time series analysis [Demografiese en ekonomiese tendense vir mediese skemas--'n tydreeksanalise.]

Hartshorne J.E. ; Carstens I.L. (1991)


A time series analysis was performed on medical scheme statistics with the aim of determining current and future demographic and economic trends. This would enable one to reach a better perspective on the current and future financial dilemma presently experienced by medical schemes. Data for the period 1978-1986 was analysed on a computer, using the Statgraphics program. The linear trend projection method, based on the regression analysis technique was used. Real values were determined by deflating nominal values against the consumer price index with 1980 as base year. There are at present 253 medical schemes in operation. Approximately 16 per cent of the economically active population are members of medical schemes. White members increased by only 3.8 per cent during the period 1978-1986, in comparison to the 87.1 per cent by black members. The beneficiaries represent 19 per cent of the total population; black beneficiaries increased by 422.1 per cent, while Whites increased only fractionally by 0.73 per cent. Membership fees increased by an average of R8.08/member/month or R1.72/member/month in real terms. Ninety five per cent of the income of medical schemes was derived from membership fees. The average real growth rate of income was 8.4 per cent, while net assets increased by only 3 per cent. An average deficit of R11.02 million/year is estimated for the recommended reserve funds in real terms. The greatest proportion of benefits paid was for professional services (47.4 per cent) followed by medicine (26.3 per cent) and hospital services (19.8 per cent). The real growth rate for benefits paid was 8.6 per cent per year.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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