Namibia: Medical Funds Urged to Pay Out Covid-19 Cover

30 March 2020

The Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) has encouraged the public to adhere to all public notices issued by government in relation to Covid-19 and to contact their medical aid funds for clarity on their benefit option limits.

Namfisa has noted that some medical aid funds introduced measures restricting medical aid fund benefits to the general public to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on the business of these funds.

"As a key stakeholder, Namfisa is required to act and take the necessary measures to support efforts in the prevention of the spread of Covid-19, as a result, Namfisa engaged the funds to stop these practices immediately. We therefore, urge every (medical air fund) to carry on its business in accordance with sound business principles by maintaining a balance between maintaining financial soundness and not create additional burdens to members of the funds, especially in light of the worldwide pandemic," read a statement from Namfisa spokesperson Victoria Muranda.

Following reports of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Namibia, President Hage Geingob issued a declaration of the state of emergency and subsequent national response measures for Covid-19 on 24 March 2020.

"Namfisa, as part of its vision, aims to ensure a safe, stable and fair financial system which contributes to the economic development of Namibia and in which consumers are protected. Namfisa encourages the public not to panic and take precaution by practicing social distancing. You are further encouraged to equip yourself with additional information that will enhance your safety," stated Muranda.

Namfisa is mandated to supervise financial institutions and financial services, and to advise the minister of finance on matters relating to financial institutions and financial services. This relates inter alia to the business of long and short-term insurance; asset management, unit trusts (collective investment schemes), pension funds, medical aid funds; public accountants and auditors, exchanges, stock brokers, insurance brokers and agents, and micro lenders.

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