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The National Health Insurance Bill was approved by Cabinet in 2017. The date for implementation of the NHI is 2025.

The government formulated the National Health Insurance (NHI) in order to coordinate access to quality and affordable health care for all.

The National Health Insurance will pay for health care for all South Africans and will be run as a non-profit public entity. If you are a registered refugee, you will also be entitled to the National Health Insurance.

How will the National Health Insurance be funded?

  •  The National Health Insurance Fund will get a large amount from general taxes and every person in South Africa will contribute to the fund.

Employers will assist the NHI Fund and will make sure that their workers’ NHI contributions are collected and submitted.

What about Private Medical Aid?

  •  Private Medical schemes will continue to exist, but their role will change.
  •  Individuals will be free to continue their medical scheme membership, but they will also need to make contributions to the NHI Fund.

The government will no longer provide tax subsidies for medical scheme contributions.

The National Health Insurance will be introduced in three phases:

  •  The first phase will prepare central hospitals to provide specialised services to all citizens, under the control of the government.
  •  In phase two, all those who qualify for NHI will be registered.
  •  In the third phase, working people will start to make mandatory payments and the private sector providers will be contracted to provide services.

The Bill has not yet been referred to the committee, although it was tabled in Parliament.

The Health Department expects the final NHI Act to come into effect before March 2020, according to its latest annual plan.

A healthy nation is a safe, productive and economically stable nation to live in.

To read more about the National Health Insurance, go to or pick up a booklet on NHI at your nearest health facility.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

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