15 October 2012

Namibia: Public Servants to Pay More for Medical Aid

CIVIL servants' contributions to the Medical Aid Scheme for Public Service Employees (Psemas) will double from the beginning of November.

Deputy Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein on Friday confirmed the 100% hike in Psemas contributions. The benefits government employees enjoy under Psemas will remain unchanged, he said.

Currently, a civil servant pays N$60 per month to be registered as a main member of Psemas, while N$30 per month is charged for each of his dependants.

From next month, a main member will pay N$120 per month, while N$60 per month will be charged for every dependant.

A family of four will therefore have to pay N$360 per month in medical aid contributions from November 1.

The news comes as civil servants are increasingly voicing unhappiness about their salaries.

Approached for comment on the latest development, the deputy general secretary of the Namibia Public Workers' Union (Napwu), Gabes Andumba, said he wasn't aware of the increases.

Namibian National Teachers Union (Nantu) general secretary Basilius Haingura didn't want to comment, saying the union was negotiating the salary issue with Government.

The higher contributions stem from increased tariffs Psemas has agreed to pay to medical service providers. The tariffs were last adjusted in 2008-09, and are currently on average 71% lower than what private medical aid funds pay service providers.

Psemas currently pays 95% of agreed tariffs directly to the service provider, while civil servants pay the remaining 5%.

The benefit structures, rules and regulations of Psemas will, however, be reviewed, The Namibian has learnt. Prime Minister Nahas Angula by soon table a report in this regard to Cabinet.

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