Health and Medical Insurance
Who can get medical insurance?
Medical insurance can be obtained through a private scheme or a national social security scheme.
Private medical insurance is available to every citizen in Zimbabwe as long as one has the money to pay the monthly contributions. In practice, however, such medical insurance is predominantly accessed by individuals who are employed and are covered under an employer plan.
According to the Demographic Health Survey 2010-11, 93% cent of Zimbabwean women and 91 percent of men do not have medical insurance. It also highlighted that few women and men who have medical insurance are covered by social security or other employer plans.
What about women and health aid?
Six percent of women have insurance through their employer and less than 1 percent are covered under a privately purchased commercial plan. The remaining women are covered through some other mechanism.
What about education?
Education is strongly associated with medical insurance coverage.
Under the national social security scheme all workers working in a profession, trade or occupation who are above the age of 16 are covered under the scheme. Workers who are exempted from the scheme are civil servants and domestic workers.
What does your workplace pay?
Under a private scheme either both employer and employee will pay medical contributions in a contributory scheme to the medical insurance fund; or the employer will pay the full rate to the fund in a non-contributory scheme.
In a national social security scheme (NSSA) the scheme is fully funded by employers; employees do not contribute to the scheme.
What happens if you get sick?
In a private medical insurance scheme, if a new member falls sick he/she will only, on average, be able to access medical cover three months after joining and the scheme will only cover the fees for a general practitioner and prescribed drugs.
If one is new to the scheme and wants to access specialists, one has to wait, on average, for a period of six months. The waiting period for optical care is one year, maternity is nine months and chronic illness like cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes, among others, is two years.
The basic care facility is only open when applying as a company and costs less with monthly individual subscriptions, averaging US$9.00 per month.
This scheme is not open to individuals but open to organisations. That this because while there is a 50/50 per cent chance that an individual may get sick, there are fewer chances of all the people employed by an organisation falling sick at once, hence the offer of a cheaper package to organisations.
This could also be reason why people who are unemployed and self–employed do not have medical insurance.
Will I get my salary if I am sick?
You will also be entitled to be paid your full pay for the first ninety days (calculated as an aggregate) and half pay for the other ninety days. Thereafter, any sick leave taken will be unpaid.
Find out more about Health and Safety Laws in Zimbabwe.