Only 9% of Zimbabweans are on Health Insurance and Medical Aid covers: ICZ…Karonga resigns from IPEC

Only 9% of Zimbabweans are on Health Insurance and Medical Aid covers: ICZ

By Insurance24

HARARE, Only 9% out of a total population estimated at around 14 mln Zimbabweans, which translate to only about 1.3 mln are insured on health insurance and Medical aid covers with membership mainly coming from formal sector.

Giving an overview of the country’s Health Insurance Industry at a Zimselector/Ipec mentoring programme Insurance Council of Zimbabwe’s (ICZ) Nigel Mugwendere said all funders, insurance companies and Medical Aid societies fall under the Ministry of Health and the umbrella body AHFoZ .

“There are 36 registered funders, 10 closed and 26 are open schemes, but in my opinion, the sector should be regulated by the Insurance and Pensions Commission as the Ministry does not have the desired technical expertise and capacity to regulate the sector,” he said while presenting on behalf of ICZ president Musa Bako.

While membership mainly comes from formal sector, this presents a huge gap from the private sector with most people now in informal employment where they consider health and medical covers costly.

Health Insurance policy covers/shares the risk of a person incurring expenses associated with healthcare while medical aid is administered by benefit societies formed around same interest groups eg engineering, commercial and industrial, public service, municipal.

According to Mugwendere, in 2016 health funders paid just over $324 million to service providers in Zimbabwe compare to the Ministry of Health budget of $330m. They also account for 80% in payments to the private health sector.

However, the sector like any other in prone to fraud. In this case, in 2016 alone, 157 cases of fraud were investigated and a total of almost $2 mln was recovered.

Fraud includes: false claims, excessive charges, impersonation, unethical practices: over-servicing, unnecessary referrals.

IPEC boss resigns

By Insurance24

HARARE, The Insurance and Pensions Commissions (IPEC) boss Comm Tendai Karonga has resigned from the Commission amid indications he was fired due to differences with the Board as reported earlier.

Karonga has for the large part of last two months not appeared in any public forum neither had he been visible with most emails sent to him indicating he was currently out of office.

“The Board of Directors…..announces the resignation of Tendai Karonga from the position of Commissioner of Insurance, Pension and Provident Funds on 16 May 2018 to pursue personal interests,” Ipec said in a statement.

Finance Director Blessmore Kazengura is the Acting Commissioner until a substantive Commissioner is appointed.