Promotion of Access to information Act (PAIA)

For more information regarding the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), kindly click here.

What Is POPI and How Will It Impact On You?

Bankmed believes that everyone has a right to privacy - our Constitution protects this right. And now, legislation contained within the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act (4 of 2013) further assists in the protection of this fundamental human right.

What constitutes personal information?

This is personal information that identifies you as a person. This would include information such as your:

  • Name, address, e-mail address and phone number.
  • Race, nationality, ethnicity, origin, colour, religious or political beliefs or associations
  • Age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or family status
  • Identity number, code or symbol
  • Blood type or any other biometric information
  • Medical history and records

How does this affect you?

The POPI Act serves as a watchful protector over public and private organisations to which you have supplied, or may supply, your personal information. It protects your right to privacy under the following eight principles:

  • Accountability

An organisation is responsible for the personal information in its possession and needs to comply with conditions for processing information.

  • Processing limitation

We are required to process your personal information in a lawful and transparent manner. This means that processing may not be excessive, requires your consent and needs to be collected directly from you.

  • Clear purpose

Your personal information has to be collected for a specific and defined purpose. We need to inform you of the purpose at the beginning of a business relationship. Also, we must not keep records longer than necessary for achieving the purpose.

  • Further processing limitation

Bankmed Medical Scheme and our Administrator, Discovery Health (Pty) Ltd, may only use your personal information for those purposes that were specified at the time you provided consent to the processing of information. Should we need to use your personal information for any other purpose or disclose it to any other recipients, you need to provide further consent.

  • Information quality

Bankmed Medical Scheme and our Administrator, (Discovery Health (Pty) Ltd, have the responsibility to maintain the quality of the personal information that we process by ensuring that all personal information we keep is reliable and up to date.

  • Openness

In order for processing to be fair, you need to be aware of the personal information held about you by us – as well as the source of the information, if it was not collected from you. You need to be made aware of the reason why your information is collected. We also need to maintain documents of all processing operations while meeting the legal requirements of the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

  • Security safeguards

Bankmed Medical Scheme and our Administrator, Discovery Health (Pty) Ltd, must not keep your information longer than necessary and, when it is no longer required, it must be disposed of promptly and professionally. Also, information security measures must be in place to keep your information safe. We are also required to report any breach of personal information to both the regulator and to you.

  • Your participation

You have the right to view your information. If you ask in writing and show proof of your identity, you may have your information corrected or destroyed.

What Does This Mean for Your Medical Aid Cover?

On 26 November 2013, the President signed into law the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act 2013, however, the commencement date of the complete Act has yet to be proclaimed. In order to comply with the provisions once the complete Act has commenced, Bankmed is implementing safeguards with regards to protecting your personal information.

In accordance with the POPI Act, Bankmed policy owners will no longer be able to access information pertaining to their dependants who are over the age of 18, without that dependant’s prior consent.

To give you a few examples:

  • We will require separate contact details for all dependants over the age of 18 in order to communicate with them independently. The Scheme is no longer allowed to communicate certain information pertaining to a dependant via the policy owner.
  • With regards to claims, the policy owner may have access to all the claims on the policy, but the spouse and/or dependant can only view their own personal claim information.
  • In the case of medical savings account balances, only the policy owner will have access to this information, not the spouse or adult dependant. The spouse will however be able to obtain this balance, should the policy owner provide permission for him/her to do so.
  • With regards to chronic medications, the policy owner will access only their own chronic cover information and that of any children under 18 years of age who are insured parties on the policy.
  • Dependants over the age of 18 will have to register separately for their chronic benefits – the policy owner may not register on their behalf.
  • The policy owner is entitled to know which other insured parties on the policy have chronic cover, but they will not have access to the actual chronic cover information of those dependants.
  • All insured parties are only allowed to access their own chronic cover information.
  • Insured parties with consent (e.g. a spouse) are allowed to access the chronic cover information of any children under 18 years of age who are insured parties on the policy.

What Happens Now

To ensure that we are in the strictest of compliance with the POPI Act once it commences and to ensure that we do not compromise the right to privacy by sharing information with anyone else on the policy, dependants over the age of 18 will be required to:

  1. Activate their own logon profile on the Bankmed website or Mobi Application. Should you access the website or Mobi Application using the principal members profile, you will not be able to view personal health information related to the adult dependants. Therefore each adult dependant would only be able to view their full personal health information, by activating their own logon profile.
  2. Provide us with their own personal contact details. There are various ways in which you can advise us of an update to your personal contact details:
  • You can do so by completing the Letter of Confirmation on which you can indicate a change in details. This letter was included in your 2016 Membership Pack.

In Addition to this:

  1. In order for Bankmed to share your Electronic Health Record (EHR) with a Healthcare Professional, you will need to authorise Bankmed to do so again, by accessing the new Bankmed Electronic Health Record functionality.
  2. Each adult dependant would need to perform this function independently, by accessing their own web logon profile that they activated.
  3. If you allow a third party to engage with Bankmed Medical Scheme on your behalf, we need you to authorise us to do so, by completing a Third Party Disclosure form. We will be distributing this form via e-mail to members who we have identified as having previously provided verbal authority to disclose information to a Third Party.
  4. All correspondence pertaining to their own authorisations (hospital, chronic medication, Baby-and-Me) will be sent to the adult dependant. In order to receive this information timeously, we therefore recommend that the e-mail address and/or postal address of all adult dependants is supplied when updating the contact details as per the process explain above.