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CMS Annual Report 2019/20

The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) launched its 2019/20 Annual Report today, revealing a consoling view of the medical schemes industry which experienced a slight increase in the total number of medical scheme beneficiaries from 8.92  in 2018, to 8.95 million in 2019.


The CMS regulated 78 registered medical schemes in 2019, a decrease from 79 as a result of a merger between Resolution Health Medical Scheme and Spectramed to form Health Squared Medical Scheme. These 78 medical schemes comprised of 20 open schemes and 58 restricted schemes. Open schemes accounted for 55.38% of the medical scheme beneficiaries.

Biggest schemes

The biggest open medical scheme continued to be Discovery Health whilst Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) also kept its hold as the biggest restricted scheme. GEMS also experienced the highest year-on-year growth with 53 102 new beneficiaries.


Principal members covered an average of 1.20 dependents, decreasing from 1.32 in 2018. The gender distribution of members was also almost equal in all schemes, although the average age for females was higher with 34.1 versus 31.9 in male members. Medical scheme members are ageing, with average age across schemes being 33 years, up from 32.8 in 2018.

Membership according to province

Based on principal member addresses, approximately 40% of all medical schemes members were in Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape, and  KwaZulu-Natal with 15% and 14% respectively.

Access the CMS Annual Report here and the Annexures here

A hard copy of the CMS Annual Report with Annexures on USB is available for collection from CMS Offices.

Stakeholders are requested to wear a face mask. Hand sanitising, temperature screening, exposure and contact information is mandatory for all CMS visitors.

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