Medical Aid Society of Malawi (Masm) has cautioned its clients to be careful when accessing medical services to ensure they are not duped or overcharged.
Masm chief executive officer Sydney Chikoti said this on Thursday following a new approach called ‘No Shortfall’ the society has adopted whereby, starting this month, all clients will no longer be paying shortfalls on all services, including consultation, laboratory, scanning or admission.
Chikoti emphasised that each scheme has terms and conditions which include annual cover limits.
This means clients should not use up their allocated amount before the end of the year as doing so would result in Masm not being able to pay for their medical care.
Econoplan Scheme has an annual cover limit of K1.4 million, Executive Scheme has an annual cover limit of up to K8 million while VIP Scheme clients have a maximum annual cover limit of up to K15 million.
“What is important is for members to understand the terms and conditions, consultations charges have a limit so are medication and admissions, depending on a specific scheme one subscribes to.
“It is imperative that clients are aware of these things and control how they use these services and see that service providers are charging them for what they have received, to avoid finding oneself out of benefit,” he said.
According to Chikoti, Masm scraped off shortfalls after conducting a customer satisfaction survey in 2016 where 96 percent of those they contacted expressed reservations on the issue.
“As a society we have listened. We are not looking at making profits, but sustainability. We believe if clients make good use of this new development, fraud and abuse by both service providers and clients will be minimised,” he said.
Patients whom The Nation spoke to at some private hospitals, including Blantyre Adventist Hospital and Mwaiwathu Private Hospital, said they were pleased with the development.
“It was so frustrating to pay huge amounts of money in form of shortfalls, considering that huge sums of money are being deducted from our salaries for health insurance.
“When I first heard of this new development, I had some doubts but today I have seen my doctor, went for scanning and received medicine. The bill came up to K60 000 but I paid nothing. I am so happy,” Lucy Nkhoma, an outpatient at Blantyre Adventist Hospital, said. n