The Sunday Mail
Government has registered five new medical aid societies to cater exclusively for SMEs — the first time many in the sector will secure health insurance.
The firms’ names will be revealed once outstanding processes are complete.
Health insurers have traditionally accepted formally or self-employed/unemployed clients as long as their subscriptions remain up-to-date.
However, no SME packages were developed over the years.
Authorities have been advocating such packages since 2015 and have now made history with Zimbabwe’s first SME-focused medical aid societies.
In 2014, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency established that 5,9 million people in the country operate in that sector, with 347 000 others formally employed.
And official figures show that only 10 percent of Zimbabwe’s 13 million-plus population is on medical cover.
Health and Child Care Ministry strategy and policy development officer Mr Tonderai Kadzere told The Sunday Mail, “The ministry has registered five additional medical aid societies that will accommodate small scale enterprises.
“For a long time, the informal sector did not have cover to cushion it from medical expenses.
“So, this innovation will certainly come in handy. I cannot, however, give you the names of the medical aid societies as the finer details are being finalised.”
Harare Informal Traders’ Council president Mr Onisimo Gore said: “We welcome the medical aid societies that have been set up to cater for the informal sector.
“However, as a council, we have just heard about them, and appeal to the authorities to furnish us with more details on how they will operate.
“Public awareness meetings, led be the health insurers, would do us a lot of good. The initiative is noble, but I feel stakeholder engagement is key in such matters.”