Symphony Health wads into medical aid, administrators market
by Kabelo Seitshiro
The newly established Symphonic (Pty) Ltd has opened the medical aid scheme, administration of an innovative new medical aid scheme called Symphony Health.
The company’s core business is administration of medical aid schemes.
Rose Tatedi is the Managing Director of the newly established Symphonic (Pty) Ltd.
Tatedi describes Symphony Health as what in the healthcare funding industry is referred to as a “new generation” medical aid scheme, as opposed to “the traditional” medical aid schemes that currently exist in Botswana.
When looking at the local market and what currently exists, Tatedi says there is a gap in terms of understanding the varying and evolving needs of the market and being able to meet those needs.
She also believes that some of the benefit levels could be improved based on conscientious risk and actuarial analysis.
“Take for instance extended family, parents and adult children out of school and not working, it is not very easy to get cover for all these people who are important in one’s life even though our society is mainly based on extended families. We currently have many breadwinners who provide for people outside the nuclear family and yet they are not able to provide medical aid cover for them due to restrictions on the part of medical aid schemes,” says Tatedi.
She revealed that the vision of Symphonic business owners is to expand into other African countries after successful launch and operation of Symphony Health in the Botswana market. She added that with regard to the local market, the medium to long-term plan is to diversify the Symphonic business into other financial services products.
“In designing the Symphony Health benefit offering, the directors of Symphonic assessed the market in order to understand where all the gaps and opportunities are in terms of benefits and entitlements and the provision of relevant and attractive value adds,” said Tatedi.
She pointed out that it was necessary to ensure that Symphony Health’s offer truly gives the market a viable alternative and reason for those already covered to consider switching.
The Scheme offers three plans or benefit options to new members, namely Sym-Core, Sym-Classique and Sym-Exec.
Tatedi is very optimistic that Symphonic will be pioneering a range of innovative products coupled with its Symphony Health Plans, some of which will be available for the first time ever in Botswana.
“We provide a savings solution which is the first through a medical aid provider. We expect significant uptake given the low national savings rate and the fact that the market has for some time called on medical aid schemes to provide such a product. We also offer travel cover for those enrolled on Sym-Exec and having to travel overseas be it on business or personal trips,” she said.
Tatedi said that another unique offer is the legal cover, which is an embedded benefit in the product offering. She stated that it is worth mentioning that all the insurance products provided by Sym Health are underwritten by reputable and legally registered underwriters in Botswana.
“There is a compelling need to look beyond illness and treatment and take a holistic view when providing for the health needs of individuals and their families,” she stated.
Tatedi as the former Managing Director of Associated Fund Administrators Botswana who has spent over nine years in the medical aid administration industry and was responsible initially for the operational performance of AFA, the Botswana Public Officers’ Medical Aid Scheme (BPOMAS) and Pula Medical Aid Fund (PULA).
She was, upon appointment as AFA Managing Director, instrumental in the Business Review Process undertaken by Deloitte at the Bokamoso Private Hospital on behalf of BPOMAS, which subsequently resulted in BPOMAS and Lenmed Health of South Africa buying the assets of the Bokamoso Private Hospital Trust Estate, and thereafter continuing with the operation of the Hospital through sustainable model and structures.