Mr. Mugwena Maluleke
General Secretary: SADTU
Postnet Suite 106
Private Bag X 5
Aston Manor 1630

31 May 2018

Dear Mr. Maluleke

Subject: Advancing social security with affordable healthcare cover for public service

As the champion of health and wellness for members of the public service, the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) has recently extended the opportunity for its members to migrate to the efficiency discounted Emerald Value Option (EVO).

Members joining the EVO from the Emerald Option can experience a saving of up to R1 000 on their monthly contribution and still receive the same benefits offered by the Traditional Emerald Option. Since the introduction of EVO at the beginning of 2017, 53 763 principal members and 150 863 beneficiaries have opted to take advantage of the value afforded through the option. As a result of EVO being so well received, the Scheme has made a special effort to accommodate this demand by allowing members to switch to EVO until 15 June 2018.

As indicated above, EVO mirrors the benefits of GEMS’s ever-popular traditional Emerald Option at a substantially reduced rate, provided that members nominate and use their nominated Family Practitioner (FP) who will co-ordinate their care through referrals to network healthcare specialists, if required, and also make use of our EVO network hospitals. The nominated FD is able to build a full medical history of their patient and this is key to the EVO model and, ultimately, ensures better healthcare for members. Provision is made for members who live in one province but work in another province, as well as for situations where a member or dependant may not be able to visit their nominated FP, for instance, while travelling.

Where hospitalisation is required, EVO members are required to use hospitals on GEMS network because the Scheme has agreements in place with these healthcare facilities to ensure that members receive quality care without incurring unnecessary co-payments and levies. This means that EVO members who follow these simple rules will not need to pay out of their pocket for healthcare services.

Please assist the Scheme in sharing messages around EVO with your constituency in order to afford members to experience the GEMS difference and true value in healthcare cover.

The Schemes communication team will be in touch with your communication department to establish how best to engage your members on your various communication platforms.

Yours in Health

Dr Guni Goolab
GEMS: Principal Officer