The decision was made with the aim of offering employees and pensioners a wider choice in medical aid benefits in a sustainable fund.

Shelagh Goodwin, general manager of human resources at Media24, says the N Options on Nasmed, like many closed medical aid funds in South Africa, was no longer sustainable. "Simply put, our membership is decreasing, claiming more and getting older, which means that the current fund is no longer sustainable," she adds.

"If we were to stay in Nasmed, our employees and pensioners would face above-average increases in member contributions as well as reductions in benefits in future. We chose to rather offer our staff and retired colleagues a wider choice of plans to suit their pockets and their needs," says Goodwin.

According to Media24, Discovery was selected as its preferred medical scheme because it is large enough to absorb Media24’s membership profile, will accept the Nasmed members without an interruption in membership, and offers benefits and rate structures that are competitive and compare well with those of Nasmed. Discovery offers 23 different options to members.

"In some cases, Discovery will offer Nasmed members similar benefits at a lower premium. If a member's premium is higher than what Nasmed would have charged from Monday, 1 January 2018 for a similar benefit, Media24 will provide compensation to ensure that the member is not out of pocket," adds Goodwin.

"This applies to both employees and pensioners. Media24 will also honour existing post-retirement medical subsidy arrangements with retirees who remain on the company's preferred medical scheme," Goodwin says.

Nasmed N Option members will receive information about their new options through information sessions, on the website, through emails, couriered letters (in cases where members do not have email), and a helpline.

All claims for services until Sunday, 31 December must be submitted to Naspers Medical Fund. Claims with a service date of Monday, 1 January 2018 onwards must be submitted to Discovery.

Goodwin says Media24 will assist the affected Nasmed members with the transfer to Discovery. "We remain committed to providing fair, flexible, and sustainable medical benefits to our staff and retirees. This change will help us do that."

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