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How to join


It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Get a application form

You can get an application for membership form by:

  • Downloading the membership application form
  • Contacting the GEMS Call Centre on 0860 00 4367 and following the voice prompts
  • Attending a GEMS marketing presentation at your department
  • Talking to your HR Practitioner
  • SMS "please call me" to 083 450 4367 and an agent will call you at a convenient time
  • Visiting a GEMS Walk-in Centre
  • You can also get an membership application form by contacting the Call Centre on 0860 00 4367, from your nearest GEMS Walk-in Centre, or from your HR department
  • Complete the form, ensuring that you have completed all the sections in full and that you have provided the requested supplementary documents (see ‘Documents Required' below)
  • Send the completed form and documents by:
    • Fax to 0861 00 4367;
    • Post to GEMS, Private Bag X782, Cape Town, 8000;
    • Email to join@gems.gov.za; or
    • Drop it off directly at a GEMS Walk-in Centre.

Complete the Membership Application Form

Make sure that you complete all the sections in full and include all necessary documents as specified on the form. If we do not receive all the necessary documentation, we are unable to register you as a member of GEMS and you will not be able to access our excellent healthcare benefits.

Supporting documents that must be submitted:

  • Signed application form
  • Payslip
  • Identification document (ID)
  • Membership Certificate from previous medical scheme
  • An Affidavit where required.

Submit the Membership Application Form

Send us the completed form and supporting documents in any of the following ways:

  • Email: enquiries@gems.gov.za
  • Fax: 0861 00 4367
  • Post: GEMS, Private Bag X782, Cape Town, 8000
  • Hand delivery: At any of the GEMS Walk-in Centres.

To register a dependant we need:

  • A fully-completed addition of dependant form.
  • Copies of IDs, birth certificates of the dependants and marriage certificates of the spouse if your surnames are different.
  • All pages of the application form must be initialled and signed.

An Affidavit is available, at a GEMS Walk-in Centre or you can ask for them by calling us on 0860 00 4367.

Additional requirements and documents needed to register a dependant

Husband or wife

  • For a customary marriage, we need an affidavit from the main member confirming the obligation towards the husband or wife.
  • We need a copy of the marriage certificate if married and the surname of the husband or wife is different from the main
    member's surname.

Ex-husband or ex-wife

  • We need a copy of the court order to provide medical support as required by the divorce settlement.

Partner

  • We need an affidavit completed by the main member, partner confirming that the dependant is the main member's life partner.

Children (biological, adopted, step or foster) under the age of 21

  • If the child's surname is different to that of the main member, the main member must complete an affidavit stating the reason for the difference and confirming the obligation towards the child.

Children (biological, adopted, step or foster) over the age of 21

  • If the child is a student and not yet 28 years old, we need:
    • Proof of registration at a recognised tertiary institutio
    • Affidavit from the main member confirming factual dependency.
  • If the child is totally dependent due to mental or physical disability, we need:
    • Proof of disability from a medical practitioner (medical assessment report to be signed and stamped by a medical practitioner)
    • An affidavit from the main member confirming factual dependency.
  • If the child is neither a student nor disabled, we need:
  • An affidavit from the main member confirming factual dependency.

Very important to note: In this instance, you will pay adult rates for this dependant.

Parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandparents-in-law

  • We need an affidavit from the main member confirming factual dependency of the dependants.

Grandchildren and great-grandchildren

  • We need an affidavit from the main member confirming factual dependency of the dependants.
  • We need an affidavit to be completed by the main member and biological parent, where applicable, confirming factual dependency of the grandchild on the main member.
  • If the parent of the child is also registered as a dependant, an affidavit is only needed from the main member for the grandchild or great grandchild.

Siblings (brothers or sisters), half-siblings, step-siblings and siblings in-law

  • We need an affidavit (to be completed by the main member) confirming factual dependency of the sibling on the main member.

Nephews and nieces (including in-laws)

  • We need an affidavit confirming factual dependency of nephews and nieces on the main member. The affidavit must be completed by the member and the sibling (aunt/uncle, the parent of the nephew/ niece) where applicable.
  • If the parent of the child is also registered as a dependant, an affidavit is only needed from the main member for the niece or nephew.

Special dependants (where the member is liable for family care and support)

  • Completed dependant section on the application form.
  • We need a sworn affidavit from the main member confirming factual dependency of the special dependant.

Registering your newborn or newly-adopted child

You must send a completed newborn registration form  and a certified copy of the birth certificate to the Scheme within 60 days from the birth of your child so that he/she can be registered as a dependant on the Scheme from the date of birth. You will also need to provide the final letter of adoption if your child is adopted. We will then also cover medical expenses related to the newborn's birth. If your newborn's surname is different from yours, you must provide the Scheme with an affidavit confirming that the child is yours.

Contributions for your child will be due from the first day of the month after the month in which he/she was born or adopted if you register your child within 60 days from the birth date.

Yearly review of dependants

Every year, the Scheme reviews whether dependants still qualify to receive benefits according to the Scheme Rules. This means that each year, main members must give us proof of financial dependency for all dependants over the age of 21. Disabled dependants and dependants (parents, parents in-law, partners) who are over 65 years (pensioners) only need to give supporting documents to the Scheme once.

Eligibility review - Implementation of Rule 4.9.5

The implementation of Rule 4.9.5 allows for students studying short courses at any time during the year, to be registered at the child rate. Previously you could only register your dependant for child rates if he/she studied as a full-time student. The implementation of Rule 4.9.5 means eligibility reviews will be conducted throughout the year, triggered by students' study completion dates.

The new short course rule allows a Principal Member to pay a child rate for a dependant for the duration of his/her registration on a short course. The child rate will revert back to an adult rate after the completion date of the short course. For example, in the event of a student studying a three month diploma course at an educational institution, the Principal Member will be required to pay a child rate during the three month course period and will be required to pay an adult rate thereafter.

Dependants registered as students

The table below gives more details about students qualifying to be dependants:

Student's age 

Rates to be paid

Review period 

Under 21 years old

You pay child rates

 

21 years and older, but under 28 years

You pay child rates as long as you have handed in proof that the student is studying at a recognised educational institution.

You also need to provide a sworn affidavit stating financial dependency (Not older than three months).

Note: If the dependant is not a student, but is financially dependent on the main member, they may continue as a dependant at adult contribution rates, if all relevant documents are submitted.

Documents must be provided before the end of March every year for full time students.

Students studying short courses must provide proof of study at the time they register.

Please note that students studying abroad may be dependants while studying, but cannot claim for benefits while abroad as they are considered to not be ordinarily residing in South Africa. According to rule 6.2 "The membership of the Scheme is limited to those Members and their Dependants who are ordinarily resident within the Republic of South Africa, or who are stationed abroad on or by virtue of instructions, requirements or obligations of the Member's Employer, or who are studying abroad".

Why it is important to send your documents to us in time

We need to receive all required documentation and supporting documents as requested on the eligibility review letters, so that your dependant can continue to receive benefits at child dependant rates.

If documents for a newborn are provided late, the dependant will not be covered by the Scheme from the date of birth. This means you will have to pay the hospital costs of the newborn out of your own pocket.

Underwriting to specific member categories

Underwriting refers to the application of waiting periods before a member can claim. Medical or health information is used to determine whether waiting periods are applied when a member joins a medical scheme. The underwriting of members joining a medical scheme is allowed by law and is within the GEMS Rules.

The Scheme will impose a three-month general and/or twelve-month condition-specific waiting period from 1 October 2016 on the following member categories:

  • Principal members who resign from the Scheme with their dependants (without also resigning from the Public Service) and then re-join the Scheme at a later stage.
  • Dependants who are resigned from the Scheme and who are then re-registered by the principal member at a later stage.
  • Dependants who join GEMS on a different date from the principal member (excluding newborn babies and newly-adopted children).

Read more >

Changed your mind after joining?

If after joining GEMS you need to cancel your membership, you may do so provided that you cancel within 30 days from the date of joining, and only if you have not made any claims from your healthcare benefits.

Enrolment Forms >

Download the enrolment pack in
easy-to-use PDF format. Click Here >

Prospective Member Enquiries >

0860 00 4367 (Call Centre) enquiries@gems.gov.za More Contacts >