Magical mommy kisses and the meaning effect

Having a seven-year old son means an almost endless series of grazes, knocks and bruises. My go-to response is to kiss it better. Even though he is rapidly shrugging off believing in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy (“it’s a tooth mouse mom, fairies don’t exist”), both he and I happily participate in the illusion […]

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The Signal Model: Throwing Light into Dark Corners

Murky territory Have you ever tried to compare the value-for-money that you get from two different medical scheme options? Whether you’re a consumer trying to choose an option, a broker advising clients or a technical marketing actuary, you will know that it is impossible to come to an objective conclusion by simply studying the benefit […]

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Why Actuaries Need “Street View”

I remember playing with Google Maps for the first time. It was startling to get a zoomed-out view of your neighbourhood, your city, your country. In business-school speak this is the view from 30 000 feet. And this is the view that being an actuary affords you. We have the ability to look at the patterns […]

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It’s Complicated

The first round of public hearings held by the Health Market Inquiry during February and March of this year have, at the same time, been both fascinating and frustrating to watch. I certainly don’t envy the panel members. There is an enormous amount of information to process. This includes thousands of pages of written submissions, […]

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Supporting NHI in South Africa

This report reviews health system benefits policy and purchasing mechanisms in Chile to inform the development of National Health Insurance policy in South Africa. It has been prepared by R4D in consultation with South Africa’s National Treasury and with financial support from The Atlantic Philanthropies.

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Last Year of Life

The aim of this paper is to highlight the key methodological considerations in an investigation into the costs incurred by health insurers arising from the provision of benefits during the 12 months preceding a beneficiary’s death. A South African dataset is used to illustrate the suggested methodology. Download the paper to read more

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HASA – Intl utilisation benchmarking

This project was commissioned by the Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA). The aim of the project is to compare the hospital-inpatient admission rates and length of stay of the South African medical scheme population with a set of international comparators. Download the paper to read more

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Comparing the cost of hospitalisation across private and public sectors

The South African private healthcare industry faces significant changes in national health policy which most notably include the likely introduction of National Health Insurance (NHI). The possibility exists that the NHI agency will seek to contract with both public and private healthcare providers (referred to as plurality of provision). This raises questions of relative pricing […]

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