Bestmed, one of South Africa’s top leading open medical schemes was honoured with the Healthcare Product Supplier of the year Award at the prestigious 17th annual Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) Awards ceremony held on 4 June 2015, at the Sandton Convention Centre.
This Award follows an independently-conducted Benchmark survey from FIA Members. According to FIA, its members – all brokers in short term insurance, long term insurance, employee benefits and / or healthcare disciplines – are asked to rate their interaction with product suppliers based on the level of service, product quality and relationship quality. Results are then collated and the winners determined.Chris Luyt, Executive Head of Marketing and Sales at Bestmed, says that in order to remain relevant in the private healthcare sector, there are numerous elements that schemes need to take into consideration. “Our industry cannot fully function without intermediaries, and in order to be sustainable, a scheme must continually be innovative in line with the members’ needs. This award is an acknowledgement from brokers regarding our product offerings and efforts to remain in touch with our members,” says Luyt.
Unlike many other awards, the FIA Awards does not have nominations of products, companies or individuals. The Association conducts a survey that asks brokers to rate contracts with their top product suppliers, thereafter, certain minimums in terms of the number of contracts ‘surveyed’ are set in order for a particular product supplier to qualify in the Awards process. “This is evident that Bestmed as a scheme is going in the right direction, and is becoming even more relevant and competitive as one of the top five schemes in South Africa,” cites Luyt.
Luyt further comments that the role of the brokers in the medical industry cannot be measured, it is of utmost importance in the educational process.
“The public view brokers as impartial, and tend to place their trust in them, believing that they act in their best interests and will in turn provide them with solutions that best suit them, without punting a specific scheme or its products. The brokers are deemed to be well equipped to provide the best advice on benefit options and we encourage consumers to use the services of a broker who can assist with a need’s analysis to ensure members select the appropriate healthcare plans,” says Luyt.
“More often than not, the dissatisfaction with members across most medical schemes occurs when the members’ expectations exceed the plan they have unwittingly selected, and this is where the broker plays a vital role.”
Luyt concludes that Bestmed has come a long way, and is proud to say that it has become a major player in the healthcare industry. “Our pioneering spirit and member intimacy approach have seen us become the first medical scheme to grow by nearly 20% in just one year. Our success is also attributable to the fact that we recognised that members’ healthcare needs vary, depending on age, marital status, member responsibilities and priorities. We developed benefits that are structured to suit different healthcare needs, hence placing our members’ needs as top priority, while keeping close communications with our intermediaries – who ultimately get these products to the member.”