The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has slapped Medical Aid Society of Malawi (MASM) with a fine of MK5million for engaged in deceptive advertising.

The Commission has also ordered MASM to cease and desist from engaging in misleading advertising and to make full and timely disclosures to their consumers whenever there are changes to the terms and conditions governing medical insurance.

This followed investigations which the Commission conducted on allegations that MASM published radio and newspaper advertisements stating that they had scrapped off shortfalls on medical bills to its members.

However, the Commission did not find any evidence to support claims that shortfalls had been scrapped off. Instead, the Commission found that, contrary to the claims in the adverts, a number of private hospitals were demanding payment of shortfalls by MASM members on every visit.

The Commission found this conduct deceptive and a deliberate ploy intended to create an impression that the medical cover was free of additional charges. Further, the Commission found that MASM did not make full disclosures on the introduction of wallets for the different services offered and its implications on members’ welfare.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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