Kiyapili Sibanda, Business Reporter
CALM Health International Medical Aid Society (CHIMAS) has introduced a scheme for rural communities with a pilot project now underway in Matabeleland North as part of measures to grow its membership.
The society said as their way of celebrating five years of providing medical aid cover they also have initiated a health, wellness and fitness programme for its members.
“We have also started a scheme for rural communities and the pilot project is underway in Matabeleland North. Membership is still growing, but the ravages of the current economic environment have not spared the momentum as employers of some of our members such as certain local authorities and others fail to remit premiums on time, sometimes not remitting at all,” operations executive, Grace Chingwe-Makore said.
“CHIMAS initiated a health, wellness and fitness programme for members that give the society ability to interphase, offer some basic medical checks and educate its membership and non-members. The society added dance and fitness classes that are held every Monday and Wednesdays at the Bulawayo Music Academy from 17.30 to 18.30 hours.”
The Bulawayo-headquartered institution has membership from across all sectors of the economy — from tertiary institutions, local government, mines, manufacturing companies, retail shops, service companies, small to medium enterprises and organised groups of individuals.
As a way of dealing with shortfalls and delays in payments by medical aid societies to serve providers, Chingwe-Makore said Calm strives to settle all processed claims on time despite challenges encountered when parties delay remitting contributions. She said incidents of abuse of medical aid by some clients was declining due to the society’s technological upgrades.
“We have indeed experienced abuse of medical aid cover and this has since been on a downward spiral due to the society’s technological upgrades and pro-activeness of our staff members in discharging their duties. A member with two or more records of abuse runs the risk of being expelled from a society making acceptability and waiver of certain prescribed waiting periods by other societies difficult. This talks to vulnerability, as such a member may not readily access service,” it said.
Meanwhile, the society said as part of their corporate social responsibility they have embraced a number of initiatives to give back to the communities and some organisations through financial assistance, donation of medical consumables, sports kits and general medical checks. — @Kiyaz_Cool.