Wella Medical Aid Society (WEMAS) has honoured its pledge it made last year that it will be giving cash back at end of year to medical insurance policy holders whose premiums have been underutilized.
The first beneficiary is Monica Chimbu, who joined WEMAS on June 1 last year, in total trust that this new medical insurance in Malawi would be giving back 25% of the total premiums made if the member would not have made hospital bill claims.
To qualify for this facility, a member should not have utilized up to 25% of claims paid, which is what is given back and Chumbi received K194,720 at a special ceremony held at Grace Bandawe Conference Centre in Blantyre on Tuesday.
Chief Executive Officer MacDonald Wella reiterated that this initiative is was tailored to encourage its members to stay healthy in order to avoid needing constant medical services by, amongst others, exercising, eating healthy foods and having their health conditions constantly checked to detect defects they might unknowingly have.
"This beneficiary joined us on June 1 last with the trust that she would maintain good health in order to benefit from this cash back initiative," he said.
"This should encourage others to sample our services at the same encouraging them to stay healthy in order to benefit just like this first beneficiary has done."
He added that beneficiaries can opt to carry over the cash back option into the next annual phase or opt to have it cashed while the rest of the premiums is also carried over.
The cash was received by Chimbu's daughters, Sheila and Thandi, who said their mother indeed encourages them to stay healthy in order to avoid visiting the hospital for ailments that would have been easily avoided.
"Our family really appreciate this scheme and going forward we shall maintain our staying healthy status, not just to earn the cash back guarantee but to live longer," she said.
WEMAS is owned 100% by Wella Holdings Limited and started its operations on 1st April 2020 and at the official launch, Wella had said their objective was to professionally manage an attractive medical insurance scheme.
The cash back is under the scheme, Medical Savings Plan (MSP), which works the same way as a bank savings account and as a cash account it is strictly for payment of hospital bills as outpatients for family and corporate schemes.
Other WEMAS products and services are Pensioners Medical Scheme; Gap Cover; Corporate Medical Scheme as well as Family Medical Scheme and all these have funeral expenses cover of K500,000 up to K1 million.
The Pensioners Medical Scheme provides medical benefits for people who are above 55 years old and it also includes a generous free funeral cover benefit and access to the best hospitals in Malawi "to ensure a better life during their Golden Years".
Wella told journalists who graced the official launch last year the Gap Cover is designed for those people who are members of other medical schemes which make them pay shortfalls at the point of service.
"This product pays for the shortfall while their medical scheme pays for the main hospital bill. This ensures that 100% of the medical bill will be covered and the member pays nothing at the point of service."
The Family Scheme range of products are designed to give cover to the family as a unit. They pay one premium and they have a common benefit pool from which each member taps for their medical treatment all the year round.
The Corporate Scheme is also group of products designed for corporate employees.
These two group schemes have three covers, Mtende, Moyo and ThanziPlus.
Mtende is the highest cover within the Corporate/Family range in which members pay monthly premiums and they are given outstanding medical benefits and that 50% of their monthly premiums is allocated to their Medical Savings Plan from which their out-patient benefits will be paid and this money can be used for medication as they wish.
Moyo is the middle cover in which members are given medium range benefits and also 50% of their monthly premiums is allocated to their Medical Savings Plan from which their out-patient benefits will be paid.
ThanziPlus is the economy cover and also 50% of monthly premiums is allocated to Medical Savings Plan for their out-patient benefits.
Currently, members are able to access WEMAS services in over 70 health service providers across the country that include Mwaiwathu Hospital, Blantyre Adventist, Masm Medi Clinics, Adventist Health Centre (Lilongwe), Lilongwe Private Clinic, City Centre Clinic, Shifa Hospital, Malmed (Blantyre, Ginnery Corner, Zomba), ABC Community Hospital as well as Likuni Mission Hospital.
In the case that a patient has been referred to a specialist hospital out Malawi, WEMAS shall only pay the medical bills there while the patients shall meet transportation and accommodation expenses there.
WEMAS' head office is located in European Business Centres Building Opposite area 3 in Lilongwe and its branch is in Trade Fair grounds in Blantyre.