8 November 2001

From: Mr B.G Bell (MP)
To: Dr F Ginwala (Speaker: National Assembly)

SUBMISSION OF LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL IN TERMS OF RULE 234 OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY RULES: AMENDMENT TO THE MEDICAL SCHEMES ACT 1998

Please find attached a copy of the memorandum required in terms of Rule 234 (1) pertaining to the amendment of the Act No 131, Medical Schemes Act, 1998 which I intend introducing in the Assembly in an individual capacity for purposes of obtaining the Assembly's permission of Rule 230(1).

It is submitted that the attached memorandum conforms to the requirements as set out in the rule.

You are hereby requested to table the memorandum in the National Assembly as required in terms of Rule 234 (1) as well as to the Committee for Private Members Legislative Proposals and Special Petitions.

Thanking you in anticipation.

AMENDMENT TO MEDICAL SCHEMES ACT 1998 ACT NO 1311998
Private Members Bill Submitted in terms of section 73(2) Read with section 76 (1) of the Constitution
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MEMORANDUM

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Notice is hereby given of the introduction of a private member's in terms of section 73(2) read with section 76 (1) of the Constitution. In terms of Rule 234 (read with rule 230(1), a member must submit to the Speaker a memorandum which

(a) Sets out particulars of the proposed amendment

(b) Explains the objects of the proposed legislation; and

(c) States whether the proposed legislation will have financial implications for the State and, if so, whether those implications may be a determining factor when the proposed legislation is considered.

The Honourable Speaker is requested to deal with this Bill in terms of section 235 of the National Assembly Rules (a) & (b).


A. PARTICULARS OF A PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE MEDICAL SCHEMES ACT, 1998 ACT NO 131 OF 1998

At the time when the Medical Schemes Act was passed by Parliament the spirit of the Legislation was to ensure that medical schemes could not differentiate between parties of different age groups. The Act therefore calls for only one rate for all members of the scheme, and may only vary the charge according to income and number dependants.

At the time it was recognised that there are Medical Schemes that actually have a discounted rate for members who have completed a period of membership and retire from their employer due to age or health reasons and apply to be a continuation member of the scheme. The medical schemes that operate under these conditions are usually closed schemes where the employer is the member of the scheme and employees are obliged to belong to the scheme. The employer during a member's employment contributes at a rate, which allows the medical scheme to offer this discount to pensioners.

In order to provide for the pensioner to continue to receive this donation it is necessary to amend the Medical Schemes Act.

1. Proposed amendment to Chapter 5 RULES OF MEDICAL SCHEMES

21(1)(n) The terms and applicable to the admission of a person as a member and his dependants, which in terms and conditions shall provide for the determination of contributions on the basis of income or the number of dependants or both the income and the number of dependants, and shall not provide for any other grounds, unless conditions under Rule 29(1) (v) applies, including age, sex, past or present state of health, of the applicant or one or more of the applicant's dependants, the frequency of rendering health services to an applicant or one or more of the applicant's dependants other than for the provisions provided.

29(1)(v) The terms and conditions of a member who after a period, as required in the rules of rite scheme, retires from the employment of a member employer due to reaching retirement age or ill-heal/h may include tire scheme offering the member a discounted rate for membership. On the death of such member his spouse may continue to enjoy the discounted rate as set out in the rule of the scheme.


(
c) This proposed amendment to the Medical Schemes Act, 1 998 Act No 13 1 of 1998 will have no financial implications on the State.