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Bonitas aims to make quality healthcare accessible to South Africans. We offer a wide range of products that are simple to understand, easy to use and give our members more value for money.
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10 ways to manage your medical expenses
"As you begin 2024 with a clean slate in terms of medical aid benefits, it’s a good time to look at ways to manage medical expenses," says Lee Callakoppen, principal officer of Bonitas Medical Fund. Here are 10 tips to empower yourself in managing medical expenses. 9 Feb 2024 Read more

Bursaries and boreholes – helping in the healthcare space
The partnership between Gift of the Givers and Bonitas Medical Fund has, and will continue, to have a positive impact in a quintet of interventions in the field of healthcare. The partnership, which began in 2018 continues into 2024, with an additional investment of R3.3m. This includes bursaries to final year medical students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the provision of boreholes at various health facilities across the country. 14 Dec 2023 Read more

Movember - it's not just about prostate health
November or Movember is traditionally when men around the world grow a moustache to raise awareness and funds for men's health - specifically prostate cancer. And, although the campaign is synonymous with prostate cancer, it's also about testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. 2 Nov 2023 Read more

Bonitas balancing increases with value and sustainability
Bonitas Medical Fund, one of the leading medical schemes in South Africa, recently presented its 2024 product line-up. The Scheme announced the lowest contribution increases across the large open medical schemes, at a weighted average of 6.9%, without reducing benefits. 11 Oct 2023 Read more

Dealing with diabetes
South Africa is the most obese nation in sub-Saharan Africa*. It's not surprising then that we also have the highest rate of Type 2 diabetes. The danger is that most people are unaware of the risk until they are diagnosed as pre-diabetic or Type 2 diabetic. Diabetes is the third most significant risk factor for disability and early death in South Africa. While 4.5 million South Africans are currently diagnosed with the condition, what's more alarming is it's estimated that 61% of diabetics remain undiagnosed. 29 Aug 2023 Read more

Bonitas 2022: Annual results show steady growth and industry-leading financials
Bonitas Medical Fund, in its 42nd year, announced its 2022 financial results today. The medical aid for South Africa, achieved a net surplus supported by positive membership growth, boosted reserves, an increased solvency ratio and a strong investment performance. 24 Jul 2023 Read more

Free hearing screening (online) for all
Hearing loss is an under-diagnosed medical condition that significantly impacts the physical and mental health of those who have any degree of hearing difficulty. Disabling hearing loss is being called the 'invisible epidemic.' It affects more than three million South Africans and over 1.5 billion people globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in just two more decades, this number will exceed 2.5 billion. To help create more awareness, Bonitas Medical Fund is offering free online hearing screening for all South Africans. 26 Jun 2023 Read more

All about cholesterol
High cholesterol levels go hand in hand with a number of other factors which fall under chronic conditions. It is often as a result of lifestyle factors. According to the South African Heart and Stroke Foundation, one in four adults in South Africa has high total cholesterol, while 30% have a high LDL level and 50% have low HDL Levels. 13 Jun 2023 Read more

Bonitas awarded Medical Scheme of the Year
At the inaugural News24 Business Awards' ceremony in Cape Town last month, Bonitas - the second largest open scheme in SA - was awarded Medical Scheme of the Year. News24 recognised companies and CEOs who are doing excellent work in building their businesses, while also going above and beyond in strategic leadership, transparency and building a better SA. 5 Apr 2023 Read more

8 vital health checks for men
Essential health checks or screenings are tests that are carried out by a medical doctor to check for diseases and health conditions, even before you may have any symptoms. By detecting diseases early on they are often easier to treat. Dr Morgan Mkhatshwa, clinical executive at Bonitas Medical Fund, talks about the most important check-ups for men. 7 Feb 2023 Read more

Bonitas offers Panda app for mental health
One in six South Africans suffers from anxiety, depression or substance use disorder. Over the last two years the prevalence of anxiety and depression disorders has increased by 36.4% and 38.7% respectively. 9 Jan 2023 Read more

The gift of hearing
Hearing loss is more common than we think, up to 19% of South African school children suffer from varying degrees of hearing difficulty. Hearing is the foundation for speech and language development as well as learning and communication. The long-term impact of losing one of the key senses has a major impact on the quality of life. 2 Dec 2022 Read more

Bonitas 2022 contributions continued for 2023!
Bonitas Medical Fund, one of the leading medical schemes in South Africa, has announced its 2023 product line. Lee Callakoppen, principal officer of Bonitas says, "Our average increase for the year would have been 5.9% - well below the current inflation rate of 7.6%. The good news is that we've put a price freeze on contributions for the first quarter of 2023, to offer our members some respite. This effectively means an increase of 4.4% over the 12 months. We have also shared exactly what members can expect to pay from 1 April 2023, so that they can make informed decisions." 4 Oct 2022 Read more

Asthma - avoiding triggers
Asthma is one of the most common chronic illnesses, affecting over 300 million people worldwide. Dr Morgan Mkhatshwa, head of operations at Bonitas Medical Fund, talks about the causes of asthma, preventative steps to reduce the chances of an attack, and treatment. 5 Sep 2022 Read more

The app for your back - and neck
The pandemic has had so many negative effects - one of which is people reporting an increase of lower back and neck pain. Working from home, without specialised office chairs and the resultant poor posture, together with a more sedentary lifestyle, appears to have contributed to musculoskeletal disorders. 23 Aug 2022 Read more

Bonitas on a growth trajectory
Covid-19, which completely discombobulated the world -not only in terms of human lives and suffering, but entire economies - had an unexpectedly positive effect on the fiscal health of Bonitas Medical Fund. Luke Woodhouse, chief financial officer says: "The Fund, which celebrates its 40th birthday this year, announced R7.4bn in reserves at year end 2021." 20 Jul 2022 Read more

A partnership to bring help to those who need it most
When you're looking for positive, purposeful, swift action in a time of crisis there's one organisation you know you can rely on. The Gift of the Givers Foundation is always ready to step in when needed, getting on with the job at hand with the minimum of fuss but with maximum results. 13 Jul 2022 Read more

Operational Performance award for Bonitas
Part of the recent Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) Conference held in Cape Town, was the announcement of the Titanium Awards which benchmark industry excellence. The Awards recognise and reward medical schemes, administrators and managed care organisations, providing the best value to their members. Bonitas Medical Fund was presented with the Titanium Award for excellence in Operational Performance. 7 Jun 2022 Read more

The killer quintet
Two years ago, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the Medical Council described the increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as an 'emerging epidemic' and the 'biggest threat to South Africa's health'. 20 May 2022 Read more

Talking about TB...
Ten people die in South Africa every hour from tuberculosis (TB). It is and has always been, a serious public health issue that needs to be brought under control. Even though effective treatments are available and there has been considerable progress in fighting the disease - about 450,000 people develop TB every year. Dr Morgan Mkhatshwa, head of Operations at Bonitas Medical Fund, talks about the state of our nation in terms of TB, the leading cause of death in our country. 19 Apr 2022 Read more

10 tips for flu and Covid-19 vaccines
The seasons are changing and with winter on its way, which heralds the start of the 'flu season'. We chat to Dr Morgan Mkhatshwa, head of operations at Bonitas Medical Fund on why a flu vaccine is recommended, not just by the Scheme but also the World Health Organization (WHO). 31 Mar 2022 Read more

NHI - More questions than answers
In July 2019, the Minister of Health published a draft 'National Health Insurance Bill', which attracted a great deal of attention and the scrutiny hasn't stopped. Despite several engagements, the Department of Health (DoH) has failed to provide clarity or explanations on several key issues within the 'Bill', which are of major concern to all stakeholders. 28 Feb 2022 Read more

Covid - How and when might it all end?
Covid-19 has disrupted the world in so many ways, including the uncertainty of what the future holds. The Bonitas Medical Fund clinical and actuarial teams unpack some of the pandemic versus endemic terminology and offer scenarios for the future. 14 Feb 2022 Read more

All about boosters
As the Covid-19 pandemic waxes and wanes around the globe, it is universally accepted that as many people in the world as possible need to be vaccinated to develop immunity. Depending on which vaccine you received, you will either have had one or two initial vaccines doses and then, between two and six months afterwards are eligible for a booster. Kathy Malherbe speaks to Dr Morgan Mkhatshwa, head of operations at Bonitas Medical Fund, about Covid-19 immunity, vaccines, boosters and the way forward. 7 Feb 2022 Read more

Your pre-hospitalisation checklist
Waves of Covid-19 and the emerging variants meant that several elective surgeries were postponed to minimise the use of hospital beds and to avoid unnecessary exposure to the virus. As the number of infections decrease, surgeons and hospitals are catching up on the backlog of elective surgeries. 21 Jan 2022 Read more

Medical aids can't bear the brunt of hospital increases
Hospital admissions are one of the biggest cost drivers for any private medical scheme which is why the tariffs are under review and negotiated annually by Bonitas Medical Fund. If no agreement is reached, medical aid members will bear the brunt of high co-payments. 22 Nov 2021 Read more

Lockdown - Serving newly digitised consumers
The Covid pandemic has changed the way we communicate, consume information and news and how we engage with organisations. But most importantly, it has brought the importance of quality healthcare into the spotlight. 5 Nov 2021 Read more

Home-based care - There is no place like home
The shift towards home-based care was accelerated by the Covid pandemic. Although not necessarily always possible for Covid patients, the benefits of home-based care vs hospitalisation have been highlighted for both patients and their families for several procedures and illnesses. Dr Morgan Mkhatshwa, head of operations at Bonitas Medical Fund, says the scheme has a renewed focus on home-based as an alternative to in-hospital care, without compromising the health of its members. 18 Oct 2021 Read more

Redefining healthcare in 2022
As South Africa moves to Covid-19 adjusted Level 2 and vaccination numbers increase, access to quality healthcare remains a priority. Today, Bonitas Medical Fund announced its 2022 product line up offering. This includes the use of reserves to keep contribution increases lower, a Benefit Booster to stretch day-to-day benefits, a revised international travel benefit with payment for Covid tests and a contribution towards quarantine costs. There is also a renewed focus on preventative care, virtual consultations and plans that enable more South Africans to have access to affordable, quality healthcare. 21 Sep 2021 Read more

Performing in a pandemic: Bonitas announces healthy annual results
Bonitas Medical Fund reported its financial results for 2020, with significantly bolstered reserves of R6.1bn. Luke Woodhouse, chief financial officer of Bonitas says, "The Fund, which has 40 years' experience in the medical aid industry, had 333 141 principal members and total beneficiaries of 710,157 as of 31 December 2020. This accounts for 14% of the open scheme market, representing 8.3% of total market share." 5 Aug 2021 Read more

Covid hub drives education and vaccination
The third wave of Covid-19, which is predominantly the Delta variant, is having a major impact on our healthcare system with reports of hospital admissions being significantly higher than during waves one and two. "We can attest to this by the ongoing monitoring and analysis provided by our actuarial teams," says Lee Callakoppen, principal officer of Bonitas Medical Fund. "In 2020, we had a total of 8,111 members hospitalised due to Covid-19 as opposed to 7,815 over the past six months." 20 Jul 2021 Read more

Generics and biosimilars - champion cost-savers in the healthcare industry
It is common knowledge that healthcare costs rise exponentially and medical schemes have to find ways to reduce costs both for the medical scheme and its members. Kathy Malherbe spoke to Dr Morgan Mkhatshwa, head of operations at Bonitas Medical Fund, about generics and biosimilars and how they contribute towards reducing healthcare costs. 6 Jul 2021 Read more

NHI funding. It's complicated
Prof. Simon Nemutandani, president of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA), recently proposed that: "The NHI should be taking over from medical aid schemes and all assets that sit under medical schemes must be transferred to NHI." This appears to be another attempt by the National Department of Health (NDoH) to acquire the reserves of private medical schemes to pay for healthcare in South Africa. 18 Jun 2021 Read more

Bonitas opens private vaccine sites
The first of Bonitas Medical Fund's 30 planned vaccinations sites opened in Roodepoort, Gauteng, last week, from which the fund anticipates initially administering approximately 440 vaccines per day. This was followed by Centurion and during the coming weeks we will be phasing in the rest of the of the 28 sites across all nine provinces. All our sites are subject to accreditation and the number of vaccinations administered will be dependent on how many we receive from the Department of Health (DoH). 26 May 2021 Read more

15 facts about the Covid vaccine
Although the vaccine rollout for healthcare workers has begun, myths and misinformation continue to circulate around its development, efficacy and just how the vaccine will help manage or mitigate the spread of the virus. We asked Lee Callakoppen, principal officer of Bonitas Medical Fund for 15 facts about the vaccine. 11 May 2021 Read more

Covid and flu - Should you still have the flu shot?
Dr Morgan Mkhatshwa, head of operations at Bonitas Medical Fund, unpacks the differences and similarities between 'flu' and Covid-19, how it affects your body and offers compelling reasons why you should consider getting the flu vaccine this year. 8 Mar 2021 Read more

New Head of Operations for Bonitas
Bonitas Medical Fund has announced the appointment of Dr Morgan Busuku Mkhatshwa as Head of Operations. 2 Mar 2021 Read more

The lowdown on Covid-19 test protocols
As South Africa finds itself starting to move out of the second wave of a Covid-19 outbreak, over eight million Covid tests have been carried out in the public and private sector since the start of the pandemic. 2 Feb 2021 Read more

Bonitas announces the lowest increase in 10 years - from 0%
Financially solid, younger new members, two new plans, virtual healthcare and a renewed focus on Managed Care for chronic diseases are just a few of the insights from the Bonitas 2021 product launch. 28 Sep 2020 Read more

Elective surgeries - the disruption, the trends and back to business unusual
On 9 September, South Africa recorded 1,990 new cases of the pandemic in 24 hours. The country has now slipped to the eighth worst affected nation in the world in terms of the number of Covid-19 infections. In spite of this, elective surgery has been given the green light and it's back to business - albeit with strict protocols in place to safeguard staff as well as patients. 15 Sep 2020 Read more

Masks and sanitisers for Tshwane schools
With Covid-19 lockdown restrictions easing and schools starting to open again, there is a growing concern around the safety of teachers and learners. Basil Manuel, President of the National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA), has said although they wanted schools to reopen they were concerned about the protocols being followed. These include: wearing of face masks, physical distancing, sanitising and washing hands frequently. 7 Sep 2020 Read more

Bonitas preserves financial stability and reserves in a weak economy
Bonitas Medical Fund reported its financial results for 2019, announcing bolstered reserves of R4.3bn during extremely difficult trading conditions. The fund, which has 38 years' experience in the medical aid industry, had 338,751 principal members and a total of 722,943 beneficiaries as at 31 December 2019. This accounts for 15% of the open scheme market, representing 8.3% of total market share. 7 Aug 2020 Read more

Collaboration addresses the challenges of Covid-19
"Collaboration between all the stakeholders is the cornerstone of tackling the coronavirus pandemic," this according to Lee Callakoppen, principal officer of Bonitas Medical Fund. "This includes engaging both the public and private healthcare sector to find a way forward to address the challenges faced by South Africans. Negotiations, strategising and robust discussion with The Council for Medical Schemes(CMS), The Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF), hospital groups, healthcare practitioners and strategic healthcare service providers will enable us to find the best possible solution during this pandemic." 3 Aug 2020 Read more

Making sense of the numbers - cases, co-morbidities and costs
As the number of Covid-19 infections moves over 21,000, both public and private healthcare is going to be under constant pressure. The World Health Organization (WHO) says its Covid-19 data to date suggests that 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are severe infections, requiring oxygen and 5% are critical infections, requiring ventilation. 26 May 2020 Read more

Lifestyle diseases and coronavirus
As the number of Covid-19 infections moves over 16,000, the health minister, Zweli Mkhize, has expressed concern about the huge risk group of South Africans suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. In other words, comorbidities. 19 May 2020 Read more

Everyday heroes, we salute you!
The world as we know it has changed. Covid-19 has had a profound effect on our country and its people. During lockdown thousands of essential services personnel have been at the frontline of activities critical to saving lives and others are keeping our country running. A video paying homage to all South Africans working during the coronavirus lockdown has been produced by Bonitas Medical Fund. It is dedicated to the 'unsung' heroes helping us fight Covid-19 and mirrors the 'Thuma Mina' sentiments of the president. 7 May 2020 Read more

Free virtual medical consultations for all South Africans
Bonitas Medical Fund announced that it has extended its free virtual medical consultations to all South Africans. This facility includes medical advice about Covid-19, other medical problems, the writing of prescription, where necessary and free delivery of chronic medication. 9 Apr 2020 Read more

Affordable healthcare in 2020
Medical aid may feel like a grudge purchase until you find yourself faced with a health issue, and unexpected and expensive medical or hospital costs. Unfortunately, healthcare inflation continues to outpace general inflation by about 5%. So, while consumers continue to struggle to make ends meet, medical aids need to explore ways to contain costs without compromising the level of healthcare offered to members. 30 Jan 2020 Read more

When you have a pain in the neck or back
Back pain is a common problem - 80% of us will experience an episode at some point in our lives. It is associated with many factors that vary from person to person but can be caused by an injury, a disc or joint problem, an irritated nerve root or poor posture. The pain might be acute or chronic but living with either can be debilitating. 26 Nov 2019 Read more

Medical Aid - Making the right choice
Private and public healthcare has been in the news lately and will continue to be a topic of discussion due to the Department of Health's proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, the Health Market Inquiry (HMI) report as well as the current socio-economic landscape. 29 Oct 2019 Read more

Membership growth and a weighted increase below double digits for Bonitas
A growth in membership, an increased emphasis on Managed Care, a range of enhancements for members and added value, are just some of the highlights from the Bonitas 2020 Product Launch. 25 Sep 2019 Read more

Medical aid non-disclosures: What you need to know
Honesty is the best policy, even when it comes to filling out your medical aid application forms. The consequences of non-disclosure can be devastating, from the costly repayment of claims to having your membership terminated. 21 Aug 2019 Read more

Bonitas annual results 2018 - Good vital signs
Bonitas announce healthy annual results 16 Jul 2019 Read more

Pregnancy and medical aid
Motherhood and pregnancy are times of great anticipation and joy. Each experience is unique but what is probably high on the agenda is that you have a trouble-free pregnancy, a healthy baby and also know and anticipate the costs involved for pre-natal check-ups and the birth. "Choosing the right medical aid is critical in ensuring the healthcare needs of you and your loved ones are taken care of. More so, when you're looking at expanding your family. For those who are on a medical scheme or wish to join one, here are some important points to consider when you fall pregnant," says Lee Callakopen, Principal Officer of Bonitas Medical Fund. 24 Jun 2019 Read more

With you from start to finish - with a 'bus' along the way
Main sponsor of The Comrades Marathon, Bonitas Medical Fund, has reiterated its support for the 25,000 runners, their families and beneficiary charities at this year's gruelling 'up' race with a number of initiatives to ensure they are there from 'start to finish'. 29 May 2019 Read more

New principal officer for Bonitas Medical Fund
South Africa's second-largest open medical scheme, Bonitas Medical Fund, has announced the appointment of a new Principal Officer. Taking up the reigns from 1 May 2019 is Mr Lee R Callakoppen. 7 May 2019 Read more

Bonitas - not another loyalty programme
Members of Bonitas Medical Fund will now have access to free lifestyle vouchers as well as discounted offers on gap cover and financial services products through the Fund's new multi-insurer platform. This is not another Loyalty programme. 1 Mar 2019 Read more

Pre-authorisation and payment: Do you know the difference?
Medical aid members know that pre-authorisation ahead of a medical procedure is always required but does pre-authorisation mean it's an agreement to pay in full? No, not necessarily. 1 Mar 2019 Read more

Fraud, waste and abuse - ubiquitous in South Africa
The BOSASA hearings and the corruption, racketeering and money laundering associated with it since 2000, have again highlighted the culture of fraud, waste and abuse in South Africa. BOSASA is a controversial group of companies on the West Rand of Johannesburg that secured a number of major tenders with the Government over the past decade. 12 Feb 2019 Read more

Medical tax rebates stable after budget speech
Private medical aid members can breathe a sigh of relief after the budget speech. Treasury has been hinting for a while that they were considering reducing of the medical tax credit to fund the National Health Insurance (NHI), fortunately it remains unchanged for the year ahead. 2 Jan 2019 Read more

Splitting up with your medical aid
Going through a divorce can be extremely harrowing and stressful, not just for the couple themselves but also for their children. And, given the divorce statistics released recently by StatsSA, divorce is on the increase. More than 25 390 divorce papers were filed in 2017, four in 10 divorces came from marriages that lasted less than 10 years and 55,6% involved children. 2 Jan 2019 Read more

10 tricky terms - Know your medical aid speak
Medical aid terms can be as difficult to decipher as your doctor's handwriting. That's why knowing medical aid speak is essential if you are going to understand your medical cover says Gerhard Van Emmenis, Principal Officer of Bonitas Medical Fund. 5 Nov 2018 Read more

Bonitas announces best financial results in 35-year history
Bonitas Medical Fund (the Scheme) reported a solid surplus of R730.20m for 2017, recouping the R16.9m deficit from 2016. Gerhard van Emmenis, Principal Officer of Bonitas, says, "2017 was an exceptional year for us in terms of financial results. This was largely due to several key cost-saving strategies and initiatives implemented during the 2016-2017 period." 25 Jul 2018 Read more

Comment on the NHI Bills presented by Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi
Bonitas Medical Fund welcomes the draft amendment Bill to the end that it aims to make healthcare more accessible. 3 Jul 2018 Read more

Generic medicines - The cost-effective copycat
A hundred-million prescriptions are filled for generic medicines in South Africa per annum. This equates to 78% of the generics market opting for a far more cost-effective drug where the pharmacological effects are exactly the same as those of their brand-name counterparts. 29 May 2018 Read more

Mental health revisited
A staggering 450 million people world-wide have varying degrees of mental health problems. When you consider that HIV is considered a pandemic, with 35 million people infected, mental health issues, although not necessarily life-threatening, are a significant problem. 30 Apr 2018 Read more

The big four - know your numbers
'South Africa is heading for a disaster if the number of people living with chronic lifestyle diseases does not change.' That's what both the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the Medical Research Council warned two years ago. The Council described the problem of these non-communicable diseases as an 'emerging epidemic'. 26 Feb 2018 Read more

Medical aid waiting periods and late-joiner penalties: What. How. Why?
The world of medical schemes in South Africa is a very different one to 25 years ago. There are strict rules and regulations governing the industry, there to protect both the members and the financial sustainability of the scheme. Now is the time of year when medical schemes announce their annual increases and benefit changes. It means people re-evaluate their existing medical cover and opt for new schemes, new plans or join a medical aid for the first time. Gerhard Van Emmenis, Principal Officer of Bonitas Medical Fund, discusses some of the important membership rules and regulations. 26 Oct 2017 Read more

Holistic treatment and management of diabetes critical
As far back as 2013, The Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, warned that a survey by the Human Research Council (HSRC) and The Medical Research Council highlighted that chronic lifestyle diseases in South Africa is an emerging epidemic. 21 Apr 2017 Read more

Medical funds and administration schemes
People who are on private medical aids are often unclear as to the difference between the administrator of the scheme and the medical aid scheme, and what the roles and responsibilities are. Gerhard van Emmenis, acting principal officer of Bonitas Medical Fund gives the lowdown on both entities and their role in delivering medical aid to members. 31 Mar 2017 Read more

Bonitas introduces first dedicated toddlers health advice line
Parenting is a joy but it can also be overwhelming and just a little daunting. There is no degree or diploma, you are simply launched into it and there's a steep learning curve. You instantly have a new life depending on you and, combined with sleep deprivation, the challenges of adjusting to being a parent and wanting to do the best for your child, you need all the help you can get. 30 Jan 2017 Read more