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close this bookThe Business Response to HIV/AIDS: Innovation & Partnership (UNAIDS, 1997, 60 p.)
close this folderExamples of Company Actions on HIV/AIDS
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPROFILE 1 : PROTECTING EMPLOYEES: Rio Tinto plc, Zimbabwe
View the documentPROFILE 2 : PROTECTING EMPLOYEES: Villares, Brazil
View the documentPROFILE 3 : PROTECTING EMPLOYEES: TELEPAR, Brazil
View the documentPROFILE 4 : MOBILISING THE INDUSTRIAL SECTOR: Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
View the documentPROFILE 5 : MOBILISING THE INDUSTRIAL SECTOR: Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS
View the documentPROFILE 6 : CLARIFYING HIV/AIDS POLICIES IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY - Commercial and Industrial Medical Aid Society (CIMAS), Zimbabwe
View the documentPROFILE 7 : DEMONSTRATING CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY: Center for Corporate Public Involvement – INSURE Foundation, USA
View the documentPROFILE 8 : DEMONSTRATING CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY - Glaxo Wellcome plc, Worldwide
View the documentPROFILE 9 : CONDUCTING SUCCESSFUL CAUSE-RELATED MARKETING: United Distillers – Tanqueray Gin, USA
View the documentPROFILE 10 : USING MARKETING RESOURCES FOR HIV/AIDS AWARENESS - Levi Strauss and Co., Europe
View the documentPROFILE 11 : SUPPORTING SUPPLIERS: The Body Shop, India and Nepal
View the documentPROFILE 12 : EXTENDING WORKPLACE ACTIVITY TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY: Anglo American Corporation, South Africa
View the documentPROFILE 13 : CONTRIBUTING PHILANTHROPICALLY TO THE WIDER COMMUNITY - Chevron Corporation, USA
View the documentPROFILE 14 : GLOBALISING A COMPANY HIV/AIDS STRATEGY: Levi Strauss and Co., Worldwide
View the documentPROFILE 15 : PREVENTING AIDS AMONG INDUSTRIAL WORKERS - CARE, American International Assurances (AIA) Thailand and the Thailand Ministry of Public Health
View the documentPROFILE 16 : PREVENTING HIV/AIDS IN THE WORKPLACE - Family Health International
View the documentPROFILE 17 : WORKING WITH YOUTH GLOBALLY: Rotary International

PROFILE 6 : CLARIFYING HIV/AIDS POLICIES IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY - Commercial and Industrial Medical Aid Society (CIMAS), Zimbabwe

A. THE COMPANY

CIMAS is a private insurance company offering health insurance in Zimbabwe. It has approximately 45% of the country's health insurance business, generally providing for people with financial means or with insurance through their employment.

B. REASONS FOR ACTION ON HIV/AIDS

Although HIV was thought to have entered Zimbabwe in the late 1970s, the first case was not officially identified until 1985. By 1995, around 65,000 cases had been identified, with the Ministry of Health anticipating approximately 900,000 of the country's population of approximately 11.5 million to be HIV-positive by the end of 1997.

By November 1994, CIMAS estimated that of its 317,000 beneficiaries, approximately 27,000, or about 8.5%, were HIV-positive. Most of them were not yet making HIV-related claims, and had not necessarily been tested for HIV. The average cost of treatment for an AIDS patient was around Z$ 4,200 (US$ 420) per year, accounting for approximately 4.8% of the company's claims costs. CIMAS was anticipating dramatic rises in both numbers infected and treatment cost.

C. EXAMPLE ACTIONS

To remain in business profitably with the projected increase in costs, CIMAS has had to review its policies. The changes made, and areas explored to date, include the following:

Policy Changes in Effect

· Increased premiums. CIMAS has attempted to limit the increments to levels people can afford, and has also widened its range of policies to meet the needs of different sectors of the population. Despite these measures, HIV/AIDS is impacting the cost of policies.

· Promotion of home nursing instead of hospitalisation. CIMAS is willing to pay full costs for 24-hour-a-day nursing at home, which is far cheaper than meeting hospital costs and is preferable for the patient and family. A large proportion of costs for many AIDS patients are sustained in the last few months of life.

· Reduction in doctors' visits. Such visits form the largest budget item for AIDS patients and yet often achieve little health benefit.

Policy Changes Under Consideration

· Introduction of a ceiling on claims for particular conditions or types of benefit. This could be a ceiling per medical complaint per annum and/or a ceiling per number of hospital days or drug payments.

· An exclusion clause exists based on age but not on existing illnesses. However, the constitution allows CIMAS to cease payments for an individual member for a particular condition if expenditures become excessive. This clause is reportedly rarely invoked, but could be in individual cases.

· Advocacy for a treatment protocol that reduces unnecessary expenditures. South Africa has developed such a protocol, but this has not yet been applied in Zimbabwe.

· Financing of generic drugs only for treatment. The national drug policy would need to endorse a generic drug code to make this practicable.

CIMAS considers it unethical to discriminate against AIDS patients, as the ethic of health insurance is to provide cover when people need it. It will not charge increased premiums for people with HIV, nor will it endorse a policy of screening except where individual testing is needed for medical treatment. With a combination of the above policies still to be refined, CIMAS is reasonably confident that it will be able to meet the escalating costs of AIDS-related claims. The company is also strongly supporting preventive campaigns and measures in the community.

Contact: Helen Jackson
Executive Director, Southern Africa AIDS Information Dissemination Service
PO Box A509, Harare
Zimbabwe

Tel: 263 4 336193/4
Fax: 263 4 336195
E-mail: info@safaids.org.zw

Note: Most of the information in this case study is from a paper "Mitigating the Impact of AIDS at the Workplace: A Discussion With Primary Focus on Business Experience in Zimbabwe", presented by Helen Jackson of the Southern Africa AIDS Information Dissemination Service to the 4th National Seminar on AIDS, in Accra, Ghana, in November 1994.